Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday said there was no shift in policy of the PML-N government vis-à-vis the war on terror after May 11 polls and the entire nation as well as all state institutions would have to be united to deal with the menace of terrorism.
Speaking on a point of order during the National Assembly session, the interior minister said the PML-N leadership was clear on its stance that drone attacks and the war in Afghanistan had nothing to do with Pakistan but the attacks in our streets and mosques were definitely the problem of Pakistan.
He said the government was working on finalising a holistic national security policy as the magnitude of the menace of terror was huge.
“We are aware of the magnitude of the problem we are facing which is multi-dimensional. Though the challenge is huge, we are not yet prepared to deal with it. We are preparing our policy and we will seek input from the lawmakers, experts and all segments of society. We will also go for legislation in this regard besides some administrative measures,” he added.
He said it took the US two years to frame its national counterterrorism policy in the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks. He said India took 20 years to chalk out a plan to deal with terrorism, while Sri Lanka took 30 years and Britain had to wait for 50 years to deal with the law and order.
He said under the proposed national security policy, the provincial governments would have to develop their indigenous intelligence systems to help devised a strategy to thwart terrorist attacks.
The minister said it was a welcome sign that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was already working on its strategy to develop its own intelligence system.
Nisar said Pakistan was facing an “unseen enemy” who, he said, was from within “our ranks” and were threatening our security.
He said the country would have to develop a multi-tier intelligence system for which better coordination was a must.
The interior minister said the provincial governments had CID and Special Branch and there was a dire need to activate these organs of the state. He said that the federal government was sharing its intelligence reports with all provincial governments.
Referring to the Dera Ismail Khan jailbreak, Nisar said the federal government had sent its successive intelligence reports to the KP government on July 24, 26 and 28.
However, he said, if the KP government could not effectively coordinate with the security agencies to thwart the jailbreak plan, the responsibility could not be shifted to the federal government.
He said the federal government would fully support the provincial governments.
Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Deputy Parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi endorsed the views expressed by Nisar on nature of the terror threat and said the provincial governments had no idea to deal with the menace of terror.
“The provincial governments can deal with normal law and order issues. But they lack equipment, training and awareness of the situation to deal with menace of terror,” he said, adding that a national counterterrorism plan was needed to meet the challenge that was grave in nature and was threatening the very basics of the country.
He urged the federal and provincial governments to take responsibility as passing the buck and point-scoring would not yield desired results.
Nafisa Shah of the PPP said terrorists had claimed lives of 300 people during the holy month of Ramazan and whether it were top officers of the police or the armed forces, all were targeted blatantly.
She said even labourers were targeted by miscreants in Balochistan. She hoped that the treasury and opposition benches would agree on a unanimous strategy to deal with terrorism.
Dr Arif Alvi and Kishwar Zehra expressed grave concerns over militant attacks on the worship places of Ismaili and Bohri minorities and said the leaders of both communities had took part in Pakistan Movement but they were now being targeted and the state was not taking action.