Government fails to establish peace despite tall claims that NAP was the right anti-dote to counter extremism and sectarianism
Unfortunately, we have not learnt our lessons from the tragic terror attack on Peshawar Army Public School that left 150 dead, of which 134 were children below the age of 18. Though a lot was said after the attack, that the civil-military leadership had decided to finally eliminate terrorism from the country, nothing much was done to turn this dream into reality. A large number of committees and authorities have been established to ensure strict implementation on NAP, but well, we forget that this is Pakistan and hardly anything better is done than forming a committee and waiting for its report.
After the leadership held marathon sessions and agreed on the 21-point NAP, the nation was expecting some positive results and hoping that this would finally end the bloodshed. To their disappointment, a new wave of attacks has rocked the country in the past one month.
NAP was considered the right anti-dote for the miscreants, but it seems they are a little ahead of the curve. While the plan clearly mentions that “decisive action is being taken against elements that spread sectarianism” and “we will act against literature, newspapers and magazines that are spreading hate, [ideas of] beheading people, sectarianism, extremism and intolerance” yet sectarianism and extremism couldn’t not be prevented and over 80 people have lost their lives in sectarian attacks on Imambargahs in Hayatabad, Rawalpindi and Shikarpur in post-NAP attacks.
While over 10,000 suspects have been held since the implementation of the plan, yet the attacks couldn’t be stopped. Where these suspects are taken, what is being done to them and where they are being kept is another question mark on the performance of the law enforcement agencies
While over 10,000 suspects have been held since the implementation of the plan, yet the attacks couldn’t be stopped. Where these suspects are taken, what is being done to them and where they are being kept is another question mark on the performance of the law enforcement agencies.
Despite these reservations, all political and religious parties gave the go ahead to the plan and after the passing of the 21st amendment, which made passage for the establishment of military courts, now the nation is looking towards the Nawaz-Raheel duo to rid it of the menace of terrorism.
Gimmicks of Punjab government
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which is the ruling party in the centre and the largest province in terms of population – Punjab, claims that the provincial authorities are strictly implementing the National Action Plan. But these claims are far from the truth. While talking to a school headmaster about security measure adopted at educational institutions, the headmaster made some shocking revelations about how the government was taking temporary measures, not concrete steps, to avert any terror attack. All the group C employees who were previously performing duties as clerks, peons, etc, at different institutions have now been appointed as security guards of those institutions. Moreover, a school having over 50 classrooms and over 500 students is being guarded by just one security guard who actually is a group C employee of the government. This aspect alone shows how serious the government is about protecting lives of citizens.
The army’s diligent fight to make Operation Zarb-e-Azb a success and the parliament’s green signal to the military courts has overshadowed the actual points relating to extremism and sectarianism as mentioned in the plan
Who will implement the 21 points?
The army’s diligent fight to make Operation Zarb-e-Azb a success and the parliament’s green signal to the military courts has overshadowed the actual points relating to extremism and sectarianism as mentioned in the plan. The NAP not only okayed execution of convicted terrorists and establishment of special trial courts but also for “dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists”, “choking financing for terrorists and terrorist organisations” and “ensuring against re-emergence of proscribed organisations”. The clauses which deal with sectarian attacks have been ignored by the authorities as attention is being paid to attacks by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other factions.
Keeping in view the performance of the government and law enforcement agencies, the future seems gloom and the life of ordinary citizens even less safe with every tick of the clock. The recent attacks on Imambargahs and Police Lines were a big letdown for the people as they had hoped that post-NAP would be a peaceful Pakistan. Amidst the chaos, the nation is not sure whether to look up to their democratically elected leaders, who themselves seem confused, about what to do or to expect the boots to walk in and take charge.
With every passing day, the burden on the current government’s shoulders is increasing and their incompetence and lack of seriousness to resolve the issues is going to force the army to step up and take the reins. And should there be a more pronounced military role, how it eventually affects the country is one thing, but it will surely set alarm bells ringing among the terrorists.