Terrorists of banned Deobandi outfits exploit government shortcomings

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Thursday, 16 February 2017

Despite remarkable achievements in reducing incidents of terrorism in the country, there are yet some major failings on part of the federal and provincial governments which resulted in the situation still exploited by terrorists.

Despite the realization and Dec 2014 commitment in the National Action Plan to fully activate the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta), the body still is far from fully functioning. After the lapse of more than two years the situation on the ground today is that out of 700 vacancies in the Authority only 130 are occupied i.e. more than 2/3rd are still vacant.
The Nacta should have 87 officers in BS-17 and above but it is presently run by only 33 officers. Joint Intelligence Directorate (JID) of Nacta is critically important for coordination between different intelligence and security agencies but it too remains a dream.
The JID has not yet been set-up. So far only a serving Brigadier has been appointed as head of the JID. This Directorate will have representation from all relevant agencies for intelligence-based coordinated and well analysed strategy to fight terrorism.
Despite the serious challenge of terrorism the country is faced with, such is the importance of Nacta for the government that eversince its establishment not even once the Board of Directors of Nacta met. The Nacta’s BoD is headed by the Prime Minister and includes all chief ministers, key ministers, spymasters etc. Under the Nacta law, the BoD has to meet quarterly.
Under the BoD, there is an executive committee, which is headed by the interior minister but this committee has also met only once so far that too more than two years back. Besides governments’ failings regarding Nacta, the federal as well as provincial governments have hardly done anything to overhaul and improve the criminal justice system.
In the NAP, it was pledged to overhaul and reform the criminal justice system to ensure that those involved in terrorism and other heinous crimes are punished without any waste of time. To achieve this goal, a set of reforms was required to improve police investigation, develop an effective prosecution and ensure speedy disposal of such cases from the courts.
However, despite the lapse of over two years the criminal justice system of the country is not reformed and thus remains inefficient and ineffective. In view of the failings of the criminal justice system, the military courts were established for two years. These special courts have also completed their constitutional term and now the trial of terrorism cases again depend on the same old and non-responsive criminal justice system.
Police department is considered critically important to fight terrorism. However, except KPK none of the government -- federal or provincial -- has done anything to depoliticize the police to take full benefit of the department in checking terrorism and crime.
So far mostly the emphasis of the authorities has been on punitive action against terrorists and terrorist groups. There has been little focus on preventive measures. Most importantly nothing has been done to defeat the mindset of the terrorists.
No effort has been made as yet to engage leading ulema from different schools of thought to defeat the terrorists’ mindset. Governments are though scanning religious schools to ensure that they are not producing terrorist or extremist minds, ignoring what could be achieved through ulema, religious schools and mosques.
To defeat the mindset of terrorists and to educate the people in every nook and corner of the country with true Islamic teachings, mosques and religious schools could be involved in educating the people how the terrorists are misinterpreting Islam. To achieve this goal, the government could devise a strategy by holding a meeting with top ulema from all different schools of thought.

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