In the two years since the approval of the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP), action against terrorists, their masterminds and facilitators has been ruthless.
Highly placed sources in the federal government told Pakistan Today that the security establishment of the country has no favourites among terrorists and that the federal and provincial governments are complementing the efforts of the military to purge the country of militant outfits.
“We have a zero tolerance policy against all terrorists and there are no favourites. It’s a no holds barred policy. The action is swift and ruthless. You can yourself notice a huge drop in terrorism incidents,” the sources said.
However, there are grey areas too in the implementation of the NAP.
“The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) is yet to have its own premises … The provincial governments need to put their hearts and souls into fighting terrorism… The chief ministers need to lead from the front,” the source added.
The source admitted that the planted story in a leading national daily was still a thorny issue in the civil, military relationship and it had damaged an exceptional rapport between the prime minister and the outgoing army chief as well as the former Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG-ISI).
“Let me tell you that all the stakeholders are on the same page but on different books leading us nowhere … The planted story issue has not died down yet, and it is still a thorny issue. If not resolved, these issues can lead us astray,” the source added.
The source added that apart from the NACTA building, a lot more is needed. “All the intelligence agencies need to be brought under one roof for better coordination and improved cooperation.”
Similarly, the source added that though terrorism was down 80 percent in Karachi, street crime has increased recently.
The source said that the security establishment was sceptical about the report of the judicial commission formed to probe the Quetta carnage.
RAW-NDS nexus fuelling terrorism
The source said that the RAW-NDS nexus was actively launching terrorists into Pakistani territory and that TTP terrorists were using Afghan soil as a launching pad against Pakistan.
Moreover, the official said that hopeless militants linked to various outfits are joining Daesh inside Afghanistan.
“Fertile ground in Afghanistan for terrorists is a major threat to Pakistan now. In a bid to fight terrorism jointly, the NDS and ISI must join hands to prevent terrorism, besides agreeing to joint border monitoring. However, the NDS has a nexus with RAW which is resulting in more terrorism in the region,” the official said.
The source said that contrary to the popular sentiment, there is zero tolerance in Punjab for proscribed organisations. The source also brushed aside the assertion about free movement of Jamaat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed and some other leaders of proscribed sectarian organisations, saying that such accusations were over-projected.
“By and large terrorist incidents have been controlled. Major success stories are Balochistan and Karachi. In Balochistan, the provincial government has been empowered to talk to militants and the reconciliation process has had huge successes,” the official said.
However, the official said the case of Brahamdagh Bugti was different.
“Since Brahamdagh has applied for Indian nationality, his case is far different now. We will tackle him differently,” the official added.
The official added that steps to curb hate speech were also successful.
“The minister for information and the PEMRA chairman are being given a leading role to engage the media on a regular basis to help stop hate speech. With proper monitoring and effective engagement, we will be able to effectively curb hate speech,” the official added.
The official said that madrassas would soon be registered, regulated and that their curriculum would be monitored to curb hate speech.
“Five boards are going to be set up to regulate madrassa curriculum and madrassa examinations. Moreover, the boards would also conduct equivalence of degrees for madrassa students,” the official added.
The official however, said that the definition of hate speech needs to be defined by provincial governments. The source added that in a bid to stop terror financing, The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and other banks were working to curb foreign funding for madrassas.
The official said that 18.3 million illegal SIMs have been blocked since the NAP was launched. Moreover, Afghans refugees’ repatriation policy is being reviewed.
The source said that since the launch of NAP, 411 death sentences had been given out in one year but out of the total executed, only six were related to terrorism. The source added that 275 military courts tried terrorists out, of which 113 were handed life imprisonment while only 12 were to be hanged.