Indonesian recipe

Published January 17, 2022
The writer is author of Pakistan: In Between Extremism and Peace.
The writer is author of Pakistan: In Between Extremism and Peace.

THE Indonesian National Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Violent Extrem­ism (NAP on PCVE) that Leads to Terrorism reflects the fact that countering extremism (CE) requires both long- and short-term plans.

Indonesia is the fourth and Pakistan the fifth most populous country in the world. An archipelago of 17,508 islands, Indonesia shares a land border with East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia, and maritime borders with seven countries — India, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Palau, Singapore, and the Philippines — all of which makes counter terrorism (CT) more challenging. For Pakis­t­an, situated in the same neighbourhood as Afghanistan, Iran, China, and India, it beco­mes difficult to draw a clear distinction betw­een internal and external security threats.

A comprehensive CT strategy, NAP on CVE attempts to construct a gendered response to terrorism and VE. It is based on a soft approach to address VE through prevention, law enforcement, and international partnership and cooperation.

NAP on PCVE focuses on aligning the national legal framework with the international legal framework in CVE that leads to terrorism. Legal overlapping has been identified as one of the reasons for ineffectiveness of CT and CVE measures. Pakistan may also derive inspiration from the suggested exercises and carry out revision of its CT laws.

Extremism & terrorism do not know geographical boundaries.

In conflict areas post 9/11, women are not only victims of terrorism but also instrumental in the recruitment, facilitation, and indoctrination of children. In traditional societies, women’s potential role as peacebuilders did not get due attention. The Surabaya bombings in 2018, which were carried out by family groups, forced the review of traditional approaches to VE. Inclusion of women in the security sector and gender mainstreaming became inevitable.

Unauthentic data or lack of data integration affects planning, allocation of resources, and analysis results on VE. LEAs are not proficient in data collection and processing; rather they usually manipulate statistics. In Indonesia, the task has been assigned to Statistics Indonesia. In the case of Pakistan, the job could be assigned to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

NAP on PCVE also identifies the inadequacy of funding sources to compensate victims of terrorism and suggested the introduction of a victim trust fund. In Pakistan, although personnel of security forces and LEAs are entitled to compensation, there is no uniform compensation package for other categories of victims. Setting up a victim trust fund and enacting uniform provincial compensation laws will bridge the gap between the state and victims.

NAP on PCVE addresses the issue of funding as well and cites the need for international funding sources. Effective implementation of NAP in Pakistan needs allocation of additional funds.

The effectiveness of any plan depends on variables, such as timeline, level of consensus and understanding within the components of the criminal justice system and the civil and military apparatus, as well as implementation mechanism, availability of additional resources, political ownership, etc. The strength of NAP on PCVE is that it not only identified problems but also incorporated actions, output, timeline, and clearly defined responsibilities.

NAP on PCVE has a specific timeline (2020-2024) while there has been no timeline in our context. To coordinate, monitor, and evaluate implementation, a joint secretariat (JS) of NAP on PCVE has been established. Ministers, heads of institutions, governors and mayors are responsible for the implementation of the plan within their respective regions. They are required to submit biannual reports on implementation of the strategy to the JS. An annual report on implementation is to be submitted to the president. In Pakistan, Nacta submits a biannual policy review to the government on the implementation of NAP.

The Indonesian plan lays stress on optimising community policing, youth engagement, and meaningful input from community organisations. For eradication of VE, effective coordination between central and local governments and the community is vital. In Pakistan, NAP is a post-18th Amendment development which demands a proactive role from the provinces and more collaboration between provincial and federal departments.

In CT, Indonesia primarily follows the cri­m­inal justice model based on the law-enforcement approach in which terrorism is treated as a crime whereas Pakistan follows a combination of criminal justice and military model.

Extremism and terrorism do not know geographical boundaries. Regional cooperation guarantees peace and a peaceful coexistence. The Indonesian transition from a whole-of-government approach to a combination of whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach can be a source of inspiration for many countries.

The writer is author of Pakistan: In Between Extremism and Peace.

Twitter: @alibabakhel

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2022

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