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Improved law, order: Nisar praises army

The interior minster Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan on Monday termed National Action Plan (NAP) the most effective strategy to combat terrorism, saying the government is vigorously pursuing this plan. Winding up a debate over a commenced resolution moved by Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Sitara Ayaz in Senate to take effective measures for implementation of NAP to get rid of terrorism, he said the credit for what we have achieved through the NAP so far goes to the leadership - both civilian and military.

He said that it was the national leadership which chalked out the national plan irrespective of their political affiliation in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre, and if the backbone of the terrorists has been broken, it is due to unity and farsightedness of all political parties.

He said that within a short span of three months, the military effectively established the writ of the state in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), adding the network of all hardcore terrorists within the country had been dismantled while some fled to Afghanistan. About the ownership of the NAP, he said all the political parties of the country own it as they were united to root out this menace once for all after an inhuman attack on schoolchildren in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.

"The NAP was chalked out as civil-military leadership, the chief ministers of all the four provinces had complete understanding on it...the ministry of interior had just conceived it. There are some 16 committees, of which 13 come under interior ministry. The ministries of information technology, Safron, religious affairs and governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are involved in its implementation," he added.

About the involvement of military leadership, he said that their presence is necessary as it is the army which is fighting at various fronts, adding all the apex committees in the provinces are doing an excellent job. Giving statistics of bomb blasts, he said there used to be 5 to 6 bomb blasts on a daily basis and that number had been drastically reduced.

The interior minister was all praise for the military and insisted we must appreciate the services rendered by the military personnel, the officers of armed forces. The national security, he added, is not an easy task that could be carried out overnight. He said that there are 33 intelligence agencies in the country. He, however, regretted that these agencies lacked co-ordination, adding there is now 60 to 70 percent co-ordination - a massive improvement, indeed.

The minister highly appreciated the role of intelligence personnel declaring them as unsung heroes, adding that 3000 intelligence-based operation were carried out within the last three months, through which 37,666 suspected terrorists were arrested. In obvious reference to missing persons in the Musharraf regime, he said there is not a single 'missing person' among these suspected terrorists. He said that out of 37,666 terrorists held during the last three months, 725 were hardened terrorists, which, he reiterated, would not have been possible in the absence of National Action Plan.

He declared a biometric verification of about 90 million SIMs is not less than achieving a millstone, saying the previous government failed to verify the unregistered SIMs during its five-year tenure, and he himself could not make it possible for one-and-half years.

About the Karachi operation, he recalled the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Farooq Sattar had requested him to hand over the city to army, adding that he opposed the proposal and instead made the chief minister as head of the operation, "which has also been quite successful due to the NAP."

He said that due to operation there has been 84 percent reduction in targeted killings, 38 percent in murders, 37 percent in extortion, and 23 percent robberies. He said that since the Karachi operation began, 44,669 have been arrested, of whom 623 are hardened terrorists.

He said that the Karachi operation will be taken to its logical end, while no timeframe could be given as the government is committed to purging the city of criminals and terrorist elements. Another success story is blackout of terrorists by the national media. Without elaborating, he said Rs 100 million was confiscated which was being used for terror financing.

However, the only disappointment for the minister was the lack of adequate resources for the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta). He said that as per the NAP, Nacta should be strengthened as an effective counter-terrorism body, but it is under-budgeted. He expressed hope that the shortage of funds for Nacta has been communicated to the prime minister.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015