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imageISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said Counterterrorism Rapid Deployment Force will be created to curb the menace of terrorism.

The preliminary draft of the National Security Policy‚ to be presented to the Prime Minister within a fortnight‚ envisages activation of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and creation of Counter Terrorism Rapid Deployment Force.

Addressing a news conference after briefing the Prime Minister in Islamabad on Tuesday‚ Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said NACTA would serve as focial point for internal security policy.

He said a Joint Intelligence Secretariat would be set up in Islamabad on modern lines which will be represented by all intelligence agencies including ISI‚ IB‚ Special Branch‚ CID and provincial agencies. It will work round the clock‚ analyse and sift intelligence reports and action would be taken within hours on the actionable intelligence.

The Minister said the aborted act of terrorism at Bharakahu in Islamabad shows that terrorists are equipped with modern arms and gadgets and police too will have to be modernized to foil their designs.

He said initially five hundred serving or retired personnel of armed forces would form the Rapid Deployment Force but later its strength would be increased to two thousand. It will have necessary latest technology including helicopters to react promptly when intelligence is received. In the second phase‚ similar forces would be raised in the provinces as well.

The Interior Minister said major burden of responsibility has to be shared by the provinces and their police but the Federal Government would supplement their efforts by provision of FC and Rangers' support.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has promised provision of five thousand sub-machine guns for Balochistan Police besides imparting of training to the police personnel of the province. The sub-machine guns would start reaching Balochistan Police within the next few days.

The Interior Minister said preparations have also begun for introduction of legislation in the parliament to strengthen counter terrorism efforts and political consensus will have to be evolved for the purpose.

He said a meeting of leaders of all political parties represented in the Parliament would be held within this month. At the beginning‚ military leadership would brief the political leadership and then political leadership would discuss the agenda aimed at forging consensus on strategy to address the challenge of terrorism. He said four options would be placed before the political leadership: whether to continue pursuing the existing reactive approach to incidents of terrorism; whether dialogue should be held; can we go for multi-pronged action including military operation or there should be a mixture of dialogue and action. He said whatever consensus is achieved by the political leadership‚ would be implemented by the Government in letter and spirit.

The Interior Minister said a joint policy on drone strikes would also be hammered out during the meeting.

He said it is also for the political leadership to decide about parameters and timeframe for dialogue‚ if to be held and also consensus on military action as army alone cannot fight the war without political support.

The Interior Minister said the Government is determined to establish its writ in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

He said a decision has been taken to de-weaponise Quetta and establish a security ring around the city. Similarly‚ a security plan for Karachi has also been prepared but the Chief Minister has been asked to implement it and the Federal agencies would be at his beck and call. Security plan for KPK has also been prepared in consultation with the provincial government.

Referring to India's provocative activities on the Line of Control‚ the Minister said Pakistan wants peace but it is also ready for any eventuality.

Copyright INP (Independent News Pakistan), 2013

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