Govt transfers PPC to NACTA to counter violent extremism

  • PPC likely to be upgraded as a strategic communication centre for research analysis, support to govt departments

ISLAMABAD: The government transferred the Pakistan Peace Collective (PPC) from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) in order to counter violent extremism and intolerance through research advocacy and evidence-based strategic communication.

The Information Ministry had requested the prime minister to transfer this project to NACTA as the department is already working on building counter-narrative against extremism. The prime minister had given the approval to render this project under the domain of the authority.

The project was established in September 2012 after a memorandum of understand for cooperation was signed between the government of Pakistan and the UK on August 30, 2011, in which both the prime ministers were present. The objective of PPC is to support the government in countering violent extremism and intolerance through research advocacy and evidence-based strategic communication.

In the revised National Internal Security Policy (NISP 2018-23), the government also recommended that PPC be upgraded as the strategic communication centre of excellence to provide research analysis and training support to various government departments.

In addition to this, PPC is working on strengthening the minds and behaviour of the public against terror rhetoric through media campaigns such as Haq Haqdaar Tak and PurAzm Pakistan. Furthermore, the PPC is building capacity of the government to counter extremist narratives.

The documents read that the ministry is promoting safer charity giving practice through the Haq Haqdaar Tak similarly through the PurAzm Pakistan, PPC is exposing the true agenda of the terrorists to demonise them in the eyes of the public. A 1717 anti-terrorism hotline has also been established under this project in order to raise vigilance on reporting suspicious activities.

Another aspect of this project is enhancing the capacity-building and training of the law enforcement agencies, parliamentarians, the government machinery and media persons. The major activities under the PPC is to focus on research studies, media campaigns, institutional capacity building and training and lastly the advocacy institutional and direct engagements.

The last point of the project is to increase the district-level engagement programmes. This campaign was started in September 2014-15 in order to extent nationwide safer giving campaign (and promoting local credible charities after shortlisting) to communications at the grassroots-level through the direct dissemination of the message.

The documents stated that the PPC in 2018-19 will not only arrange the nationwide campaign on hate speech but on a family role against the violent extremism as well as introduce conflict coverage and crisis communication course. PPC also establish new digital platforms in order to disseminate the counter-extremism message.