• Apex body reviews targets of revised National Action Plan
• Sets up cell to ensure timely, smooth flow of information about internal security issues
• Reviews steps put in place to ensure foolproof security of Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects
ISLAMABAD: The country’s civil and military leadership on Thursday vowed to meet all external and internal security challenges vigorously by eliminating re-emerging terrorists and extremist groups through coordinated efforts of all relevant authorities.
They also reviewed and revised the National Action Plan (NAP) launched in January 2015 to crack down on terrorism and supplement the anti-terrorist offensive in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
A meeting of the NAP’s Apex Committee, which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, reviewed various steps that have been put in place to ensure foolproof security of foreigners, especially Chinese nationals working on CPEC and non-CPEC projects in the country.
In order to ensure timely, correct and smooth flow of information about internal security issues, the meeting decided to set up a National Crisis Information Management Cell with ministries of interior and information as lead bodies.
“The main focus of the meeting was to eliminate new and old terrorists and extremist groups who are trying to be active again against the backdrop of recent developments in Afghanistan,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn after the meeting.
According to him, the prime minister and the army chief asked all chief ministers, chief secretaries, inspectors general of police and heads of all provincial counter-terrorism departments to ensure paces in their respective jurisdictions and not to allow any extremist and terrorist group to re-emerge for anti-state activities.
“In fact, after recent developments in Afghanistan and Taliban takeover of the country, some [extremist and terrorist] groups have misunderstanding that they can re-emerge for their nefarious designs,” Mr Chaudhry said, adding that the meeting pledged to crush these groups with an iron hand.
Responding to a question, he said the role of India in the current situation in Afghanistan and terrorist activities in Pakistan was also discussed in detail.
A source privy to the meeting said the NAP committee vowed that no one would be allowed to take up arms and no violence from any group would be tolerated. He said the meeting also discussed recent incidents of terrorism in the country and directed the relevant authorities to curb such incidents in future with an iron hand.
The meeting, the source said, also reviewed the results of NAP and set new targets to ensure peace and safety of people in the country.
According to the Prime Minister Office, the meeting was also attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Information Fawad Chaudhry, National Security Adviser Moeed Yousuf, the chief ministers, AJK prime minister, federal secretaries, chief secretaries, IGs and senior civil and military officials.
“The meeting reviewed progress made so far on various components of the National Action Plan. The meeting took into account the latest developments, especially the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan and its possible implications for the country,” said an official press release.
The committee, it said, reviewed short-, medium- and long-term targets of the revised NAP and deliberated upon role and responsibilities of all stakeholders, including federation, provinces and law-enforcement agencies. It was decided that tangible key performance indicators would be set for each target with delineated timelines.
It was decided to fast-track implementation of various measures to meet emergent security challenges, including cyber security and espionage, judicial and civil reforms, capacity building of law-enforcement agencies, counter-extremism and other issues having direct bearing on national security.
The meeting also reviewed the internal situation, especially some recent incidents involving law and order. It was resolved that all measures would be taken to ensure internal security and miscreants would be dealt with full force of the law.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Khan said the nation had paid a huge price in fighting the menace of terrorism. He paid glowing tributes to the armed forces, police, intelligence agencies and other law-enforcement agencies for their invaluable contributions and sacrifices towards ensuring internal security.
The prime minister stressed the need for enhanced coordination and effective measures to achieve various short-, medium- and long-term targets set under the revised NAP.
Earlier, presiding over a meeting of the National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction and Development, Prime Minister Khan urged the provinces to take full advantage of digitalised cadastral mapping to check land grabbing and illegal constructions.
He said vertical construction activity was one of the priorities of the government that would save land, besides providing affordable housing facilities to people.
The prime minister was apprised that the Ministry of Housing was constructing 86,323 housing units with an estimated cost of Rs463 billion. It also provided over 200,000 jobs and generated over Rs2.314 trillion economic activities.
PM Khan directed the authorities concerned to complete digitalised cadastral mapping of Lahore city as early as possible. On this, he was informed that the project would be completed by November 15 this year.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2021