ISLAMABAD: At the fag end of its term, the government has decided to amend a national policy to counter violent extremism.

In a meeting to review the National Counter Violent Extremism Policy, 2022, the government decided to involve all stakeholders in the consultative process, introduce some amendments to the policy and forward it to the federal cabinet for approval.

The meeting, presided over by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, was also attended by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, Minister for Human Rights Riaz Hussain Pirzada, and Minister of State for Interior Abdul Rehman Kanju.

The meeting was given a detailed briefing by Director General of National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) about the aims and objectives of the policy.

Rana Sanaullah stresses need to raise awareness about extremist elements

The DG Nacta said the policy had been devised based on the opinions of over 280 experts to identify and respond effectively to trends in violent extremism.

Under the policy, values of peace, tolerance and diversity will be promoted in society and social, electronic and print media will be used proactively to counter violent extremism. The policy also aims at protecting the downtrodden segments of society.

Speaking on the occasion, the interior minister reiterated the resolve of the government to eliminate terrorism and extremism as they have caused irreparable damage to the country.

“We need to create awareness among the people about extremist elements,” the interior minister said, adding that the National Counter Violent Extremism Policy could not be implemented as long as all stakeholders do not agree to it. Ideas to effectively curb violent extremism were discussed during the meeting.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Italian Ambassador Andreas Ferrarese on Tuesday reaffirmed resolve to strengthen bilateral ties between Pakistan and Italy.

Mr Ferrarese called on Mr Sanaullah here. During the meeting, it was agreed to expand collaboration between interior ministries of the two countries in an effort to combat cross-border crimes.

The Italian envoy expressed grief and sorrow over the Greece boat tragedy. Mr Sanaullah made it clear that those involved in the tragedy will be punished.

Mr Ferrarese said that difficulties in obtaining visas for Pakis­ta­nis would soon be resolved.

The Ita­­­lian ambassador commended ser­vices of Pakistanis living in Italy and said “the Pakistani community in Italy is doing a great job and there is a high demand of Pakistani manpower in Italy”, he said.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2023

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