Expert Working Groups to be set up for NAP coordination, implementation

Published March 28, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the first-ever National Internal Security Committee meeting at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Islamabad on March 28. ─ Photo courtesy Imran Khan Instagram
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the first-ever National Internal Security Committee meeting at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Islamabad on March 28. ─ Photo courtesy Imran Khan Instagram

The National Internal Security Committee (NISC) on Thursday decided upon the constitution of Expert Working Groups to ensure seamless coordination on, and implementation of, the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism.

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the first-ever NISC meeting at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Islamabad with the spy chief, director general (DG) of the Intelligence Bureau, federal secretaries and chief secretaries of the provinces in attendance, alongside prominent cabinet members ─ foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, finance minister Asad Umar, education minister Shafqat Mehmood, religious affairs minister Noorul Haq Qadri, and Minister of State for Interior Sheheryar Afridi.

Prime Minister Khan told attendees that implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) is the government's foremost priority as it is reflective of the will of the nation, and a consensus document which was agreed upon by all political parties in the country, a PMO press release issued after the meeting stated.

After the December 2014 Army Public School tragedy, the government had announced the 20-point NAP to counter terrorism after deliberations with opposition parties. NAP comprises policy initiatives aimed at wiping out terrorist outfits across the country, integrating security efforts of the federal and provincial governments by engaging all the stakeholders, dismantling terrorist networks and ensuring deterrence by utilising available capabilities and resources of security organisations to overcome internal threats to state security.

The premier said that the government is committed to removing all impediments in the way of implementation of NAP in letter and spirit. He reiterated that Pakistan is firmly committed to not allowing any militant group to operate within the country, or use its territory for any militant activity within or outside Pakistan.

Finance Minister Umar gave the meeting an update about matters related to the Financial Action Task Force and related matters, and meetings held with the Asia Pacific Group in this regard.

Secretary Interior Azam Suleman Khan apprised the meeting about progress in implementation of NAP and highlighted the efforts being made in dealing with the issues of cyber security, money laundering, madressah reforms and addressing various hurdles to successful implementation of the plan, the PMO press release said.

The prime minister commended the efforts of the Interior Ministry towards ensuring coordination among the relevant agencies and departments in implementation of NAP.

Participants of the meeting decided to constitute Expert Working Groups to ensure seamless coordination and implementation of every aspect of the National Action Plan.

According to a Nov 2018 Dawn report, the Interior Ministry has been working on a new version of NAP ─ described as Afridi's brainchild ─ and restructuring of the National Counter Terrorism Authori­ty (Nacta) to effectively tackle internal threats to security.

A document outlining the ministry’s performance during the first 100 days of the PTI government and its future plans says that NAP-2 is aimed at bridging the gaps in the first version which was rolled out in January 2015.

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