A wake-up call for government


The implementation of NAP


Soon after the Peshawar Army School massacre political parties and the military leadership formulated a National Action Plan to counter terrorism and extremism. It was realised at a meeting of the civil and military leadership on Monday that a number of tasks identified at the time remain unfilled eleven months after the launch of the action plan. Were the individuals assigned the tasks really convinced of their urgency? Did they possess the necessary competence? Is there a need to replace the old faces with more committed and competent persons from within the PML-N leadership? One thing remains clear: the country cannot afford to neglect the implementation of the 20-point NAP.

Soon after the agreement on NAP, 15 committees were set up to implement the action plan. An over-ambitious Ch Nisar agreed to head 11 of these committees. Most of the unfulfilled tasks relate to committees under the Interior Minister, indicating that ambition may not always be accompanied by proportionate competence. Did Nisar, who considered the TTP leaders patriotic persons and strongly favoured talks with them, develop second thoughts about the legitimacy of the mission he was to fulfill? Whatever the reasons, he failed to activate NACTA, the centrepiece of the anti-terrorism operations in urban areas. He handed over the seminaries to the Religious Affairs Ministry which did precisely nothing for months to get these registered, let alone persuade them to get their accounts monitored. Karachi Operation has by and large been a success because the PM and the COAS took personal interest and visited the city several times.

The scale of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan has come down because of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb. As the Safoora incident shows, new groups are coming into existence. Nothing has been done to root out the extremist thinking which continues to provide volunteers to the terrorists. This cannot go on for long. The corps commanders conference says the military operation should be matched with equally effective governance. The government needs to put its act together without loss of time.


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