ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday directed that the National Counter Terrorism Authority Pakistan (Nacta) be made functional with immediate effect.
The prime minister chaired a meeting of the committee to oversee the implementation of the National Action Plan, which was worked out two days ago with the consensus of all political parties represented in parliament to tackle terrorism and militancy.
Following the premier’s directive, an administrative meeting of the Nacta has been summoned for Wednesday. The meeting will be chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and it will review anti-terrorism measures adopted by the government.
The anti-terror body has largely remained dormant resulting in an absence of coordination among various intelligence and law-enforcement agencies which is critical to monitoring activities of extremist groups operating in different parts of the country.
Also read: Outsourcing anti-terror policy
Nacta is an independent body answerable directly to the prime minister. Although its new chief, Hamid Ali Khan, took charge in November this year, Nacta is yet to become fully functional.
Nacta is expected to play a key role in the implementation of the NAP and which will be monitored by a committee headed by the prime minister. The committee, constituted on Friday, consists of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Information Minister Pervez Rasheed, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch and Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security.
Legal teams presents draft of amendments for trial of suspected terrorists
During today's meeting, the first draft of constitutional and legal amendments for the trial of enemy combatants and hardcore terrorists involved in execution, abetting and financing of mass murders was presented to the PM.
The draft was presented by a legal team, along with Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Special Assistant to the PM Khawaja Zaheer and Federal Law Secretary Barrister Zafarullah.
The PM directed the legal team to share the draft with other political parties for their input.
"We will legally protect our soldiers in their fight against terrorists," PM Nawaz told the meeting.
The premier also directed that instances of terrorism or sectarian violence against minorities should also be included in the schedule of offences against terrorists.
"We want to make the country a safer place for every Pakistani regardless of the individual's faith or ethnicity," said the PM.
Govt has made an iron resolve to deal with miscreant elements, says PM Nawaz
Prime Minister Nawaz emphasised on seamless coordination between law enforcement agencies as well as among the provincial governments and the federal government to achieve optimum results with regards to the new counter-terrorism action plan within a short period of time.
The premier said that the government has made an iron resolve to deal with miscreant elements with a heavy hand.
"The government is committed to take all necessary steps to ensure that the blood spilled in the Peshawar school carnage does not go waste," he said.
The latest rounds of meetings were set in motion in the aftermath of the attack on Peshawar's Army Public School. The tragedy which claimed over 140 lives plunged Pakistan into deep mourning and shook the country’s political and military leadership into working on a multi-pronged strategy to counter and thwart terror networks operating and acting in the country.