THE battle against militancy in Pakistan can hardly be won through sound bites and noble intentions. What is needed is a multifaceted response — which in many areas appears to elude the state.

Take, for example, the affairs of the National Counter-Terrorism Authority, a body that was set up to be the premier institution to lead the charge against militancy. Unfortunately, Nacta is known more for its lack of activity rather than any stunning counterterrorism success.

One manifestation of this lethargy has appeared in the form of the authority’s ‘revamped’ website launched recently. As reported on Tuesday, there is very little that is new, or informative, about Nacta’s supposedly refurbished web portal.

For instance, it contains only the most basic data such as the text of the law under which the body functions, along with a bland organogram, as well as other random bits of information and links.

Where, as it has been pointed out, is the list of groups banned by the state, or information about who does what at Nacta? When one clicks on the ‘threat alerts’ link, one is relieved to know that there are “currently no threat alerts”. While that may be great news, does it actually reflect the reality?

The fact is that there is much that can be done to make the Nacta website an information hub of all issues relating to counterterrorism in Pakistan. But for that to happen, the government will have to make the authority itself an active concern. It can reasonably be asked that if the rulers cannot set up a proper website, how will they run Nacta as per the authority’s lofty aims?

As some lawmakers have suggested, details of Nacta’s working, as well as updates on what progress has been made on different points of the National Action Plan, can be regularly uploaded onto the website, along with other important information. There is simply no excuse for the state to leave the website, or Nacta itself, in such a languid condition.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2016

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