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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Friday that the government would soon revive the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) besides reviewing the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism in the country.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Federal Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb pointed out that terrorism was once again on the rise in the country as not a single meeting of the Nacta took place in the last four years.

“In the last four years, not a single meeting of Nacta, which the prime minister had to chair, was held, making the authority almost redundant,” she lamented.

The minister claimed that the incidents of terrorism were resurfacing in the country due to the negligence exhibited by the previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the implementation of the NAP during its almost four-year tenure.

She said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, under the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in its last tenure, had given the country its first-ever National Security Policy, besides finalizing the NAP in collaboration with all stakeholders including provinces, following the massacre of Army Public School in Peshawar.

“According to that plan, for the first time, all the provinces, law enforcement agencies, the people of Pakistan and federal units had decided to come together and fight terrorism,” she added.

However, she continued that for four years, the plan was completely ignored because of the ego of one person – Imran Khan – and added “whether it was water, polio or terrorism, that man wasn’t ready to talk to anyone. He never found it necessary.”

She further said that this was the reason why the provinces and the centre were “detached” for the last few years, adding the entire mechanism of coordination between the provinces and the centre has been outlined in the NAP.

“This is the reason why a decline in terrorist activities was seen during 2015 and 2018,” she claimed.

She said that the first meeting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired after assuming power was on terrorism.

“We are now, once again, reviewing the NAP as Interior Ministry has completed the infrastructure of the Nacta and a meeting will be called next week,” she added.

Responding to questions during question hour, Aurangzeb said that nobody will be allowed to malign the armed forces, the judiciary, and the other state institutions.

She said that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) are monitoring such materials on social media under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.

She said that the PTV received an amount of over Rs5.94 billion through electricity billing from PEPCO and K-Electric during the current fiscal year till February.

She said that those recruited in the PTV and other departments of her ministry in violation of rules had been terminated.

GOVT TO LAUNCH 5G SERVICE

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, informed the National Assembly that the government was planning to launch 5G service in the country.

In response to questions during question hour, he said that the Information Technology Ministry was formulating a policy to launch 5G in consultation with all other stakeholders.

He said that the 4G technology was also launched by the PML-N government, adding 4G services were available in 89 percent area of the country and in the next nine months, the whole country would be covered.

He said that cellular operators were continuously expanding their networks and currently, Pakistan has 90 percent teledensity with a mobile penetration of 89 percent.

The total mobile subscribers stand at 193.4 million, he said, adding the cellular operators were obliged to extend 4G coverage as per license conditions and charge consumers on the basis of data used/consumed by the subscribers irrespective of the technology i.e. 2G/3G/4G.

CLEAN ENERGY

The Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, said that there is a need to make a commitment to generate 60 percent of electricity through clean renewable energy by 2030.

Replying to questions in NA, she said Pakistan had vast resources to generate clean energy as 32 percent electricity was being generated through clean energy at present while 68 percent from other resources called dirty energy.

She said there were 11 coal-based power plants, of which six were operational, adding coal-based generated energy was not environment friendly as per international standard.

She said that Pakistan Clean Air Programme had been initiated to cope with the issue of pollution and improve air quality, adding under the Clean Green Programme, ministries of Energy, Petroleum and Industries would work jointly.

She said that zigzag technology had been installed at around 20,000 brick kilns to reduce air pollution with the assistance of foreign donors.

“After the 18th Amendment, the Climate Change Ministry had been mandated to conserve, rehabilitate and protect the environment within the territorial jurisdiction of Islamabad”, she added.

The National Assembly also offered Fateha for former Member National Assembly Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali, martyred personnel of armed force at Waziristan, station house officer and victims of other incidents across the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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