A YEAR after initiating the National Action Plan, its ownership, implementation and efficacy are being extensively debated. This review has acquired an added urgency in the wake of the Charsadda attack.
The ideal implementation of NAP requires institutional, structural adjustments. An analysis proves that implementation requires multidimensional interventions.
Point one: Execution of convicted terrorists pertains to the ministry of interior, the provincial prisons departments, home departments and the judiciary.
Choking funds for militancy has been a dormant area.
Point two: To ensure conviction and quick disposal of terrorism-related cases, military courts were established via the 21st Amendment. To enhance the efficacy of the existing anti-terrorism courts and reduce the backlog of cases in Sindh, the apex committee recently decided to instal 30 additional courts.
Point three: This reiterates the resolve that armed militias won’t be allowed to operate. It conforms with Article 256 of the Constitution. In Fata, the army dismantled the infrastructure and training facilities of such militias. In Karachi, the Rangers and police jointly reduced the operational space for such forces.
Point four: Strengthening and activating Nacta lies in the federal government’s domain. A full-time police officer has been entrusted with the task of hiring professionals. A joint intelligence directorate will start functioning in June 2016.
Point five: Countering hate speech and extremist material is the shared jurisdiction of the district administration, police and special branches of the provincial police. The situation warrants that all those who draft, print and distribute such material be nabbed.
Point six: Choking financing for militant groups remained a dormant area. To ensure stern actions against the facilitators and financiers of militancy, the government recently decided to establish the National Terrorists Financing Investigation Cell to track financial transactions meant to fund extremism and terrorism. This requires the collective efforts of the State Bank, the finance and interior ministries, the banking sector and FIA.
Point seven: In acting against the re-emergence of proscribed groups, the ministries of foreign affairs and interior have already notified such organisations. In the provinces, it’s the responsibility of the Counterterrorism Department, Special Branch, police and administration to reduce the room for such groups. It is also their joint responsibility to ensure they don’t resurface with new names.
Point eight: Raising and deploying a dedicated CT force is linked to the provinces. Though such forces are now in the field, they must be under a dedicated command and not employed for VIP duties etc.
Point nine: Taking effective steps against religious persecution requires practical steps by the provinces. Nacta is planning a process to assess the volume, spread and severity of religious persecution in the country and then draft recommendations for policymakers.
Point 10: Registration and regulation of madressahs is another ideal that remains to be achieved. To monitor progress on madressah reforms, KP recently established district monitoring committees.
Point 11: Ban on glorification of terrorism and militant groups through print and electronic media is the responsibility of Pemra and media gatekeepers. The drafting of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct is a positive intervention. The code also incorporates the rights of victims.
Point 12: After clearing out most of Fata to entrust its administration to a civilian set-up, recently a parliamentary committee has been tasked to suggest reforms in the tribal areas. Implementation is in the hands of the centre.
Point 13: Dismantling communication networks of militant groups in Fata is being successfully carried out by the army.
Point 14: Measures against internet and social media abuse for terrorism purposes is the domain of the FIA’s cybercrime unit and PTA. Apart from legal intervention, the capacity-building of investigators is required. The public must be educated about the procedure of lodging complaints relating to cybercrime.
Point 15: Where zero tolerance for militancy in Punjab is concerned, although action has been taken, intensified intelligence-led operations are still needed.
Point 16: Taking the ongoing operation in Karachi to its logical conclusion, the federal agencies FIA, NAB and Rangers are actively assisting the Sindh government.
Point 17: To make reconciliation a success in Balochistan is the responsibility of the centre, the provincial government and the political parties. Though the pace is slow, efforts are afoot.
Point 18: Dealing firmly with sectarian militants pertains to home departments, police and special branches.
Point 19: The policy on Afghan refugees rests with the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, the Foreign Office and the provinces.
Point 20: Reforming the criminal justice system is primarily the provinces’ task.
Reconciliation, de-radicalisation and de-weaponisation also need to be incorporated as top priorities.
The writer is a police officer.
Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2016