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National Action Plan: An Evaluation

August 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Zulqarnain Sewag


Miyamoto Musashi, a victorious Japanese swordsman wrote in his famous book ‘The Book of Five Rings’ that in strategy, it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. But these thoughts are taken into account by those who have vision, farsightedness and pain of their nation. The situation of our country is much different. Here a government comes to serve its vested interests and secure Nisarenough to be financially powerful through thieving the  national exchequer.

None of the institutions are above the National Action Plan under its famous 20 points agenda unanimously taken on December 24, 2014 with the backing of 21st Constitutional Amendment. It was aimed at the execution of convicted terrorists, an establishment of special trial courts, ensuring the curtailment of militias functioning in the country, strengthening and activation of NACTA, countering hate speech and fanatic material, choking financing for terrorists and organisations, controlling the re-emergence of proscribed organisations, establishing and deploying a dedicated counter-terrorism force, taking effective steps against religious persecution, registration and regulation of madrasas, bannig glorification of terrorism and terrorist organisations through print and electronic media, FATA reforms, dismantling communication networks of terrorist organisations, measures against abuse of internet and social media for terrorism, zero tolerance for militancy in Punjab, taking the ongoing operation in Karachi to its logical conclusion, Baluchistan reconciliation, dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists, policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees and revamping and reforming the criminal justice system.

However, what has been achieved so far are some lame figures. Except for little work on a few, more than 15 points are still crying to be taken action against but with no avail. None of the terrorists are executed yet due to an impotent criminal prosecution system, fearful judges and a lack of witnesses. Special Military Courts as a temporary solution were established as a bigger black spot and question mark on the performance of the judiciary system but the SC has made them dysfunctional.

So what is next? Which steps have been inculcated to revamp outdated the criminal prosecution system? Has any action taken been against the clerics and students of Laal Masjid and Jamia Hifsa for their open allegiance to ISIS, who are operating under the nose of  the ISI headquarter in Islamabad? Is only Sindh the land of armed militias or is it political victimization? Has NACTA been strengthened and activated or is it the victim of political and bureaucratic incompetence, negligence, indifferences and ineffectiveness?

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing a meeting on counter terrorism at the PM's House. INP PHOTO

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing a meeting on counter terrorism at the PM’s House. INP PHOTO

No funds have been allocated for NACTA in the current financial year. How much hate material is captured and dumped except a few steps taken in Urdu Bazaar in Lahore? Are not seminaries the centre of hate material? Has any action been taken against them
especially Laal Masjid, Dar ul Uloom Haqania and their allied seminaries?

Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries like Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE are financing terrorists in Pakistan and spreading extremism, sectarianism and hate speech. The Daily Guardian UK in 2010 and the Daily Dawn in 2011 reported that $100 million annual foreign funding is made to Deobandi and Ahl e Hadith clerics and seminaries in Pakistan.

A statement issued by the Saudi embassy states that they finance all these religious pundits with the knowledge of the Pakistani government. The Interior Minister on January 10, 2015 stated that the roots of extremism are traced to the country on our Western border and to the Gulf States, where a large Pakistani diaspora is working. Has any step taken been at diplomatic levels to curb this sorry state of affairs or is $1.5b in Saudi ghost aid still at play? What actions have been taken to crush 212 proscribed organizations? People linked with ASWJ, LeJ, SSP and many other banned organizations are openly contesting elections but there is no law to stop and try them.

Hizb ul Tahrir, whose agendum/pamphlets are distributed during every Friday prayers in the G-10/2, Islamabad mosque and in the adjacent market is free to operate. How ironic hazibthat the chief of the banned and murderous organization, ASWJ, is running the so-called Difah-e-Pakistan council along with other fake defenders! What more bitter irony that the state forces are deployed to guard the head and office bearers of the banned ASWJ.

Would anybody spare some moments to explain what the difference is between LeT and JuD is? JuD is put on a watch list. Which steps are taken to counter religious persecution and exploitation? Except for a few sects, all other sects in Pakistan are infidels and are needed to be butchered immediately.

Either the state does not take these atrocities seriously or is blind. Are religious seminaries beingregulated and registered? Most of the mosques and seminaries in Islamabad are built on illegal land, yet they have never been demolished. Even the state has no exact record of the number of
seminaries which exist so how will it restrain their funding?! Reportedly, only in Islamabad, the number of registered seminaries is 187 whereas that of unregistered ones is 446.

Pakistan has more than 132 million mobile phone users but the number of SIM cards registered since March 10, 2015 are 57335550 as per government figures. but what about rest of the users? Flags, banners, booklets, magazines, pamphlets, etc. of banned organizations are openly available in every corner of the country and the banned outfits are writing under different names. For instance, Masood, the leader of JeM, is writing under the pseudonym Saadi.  What steps have been taken to seize them? Is FATA reformed or are the poor millions of the IDPs  left to die in severe weathers and hunger or are they forced to sign brutal social contracts?

Social media is full of dirt and filth and no reported action is still being taken against the responsible. The National Assembly Committee has recently passed in haste the controversial Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2015. Yet, ISIS it is still making its headway. Reportedly, it has captured two districts in Afghanistan near the Pakistani border. The government is claiming massive involvement of the Indian spy agency, RAW in the country’s instability. The incumbent government has proven ties with the militant and extremist organizations but who will take action against both?

Has the Interior Ministry recorded and updated the weapon licences? Are the snake-pits of the terrorists eliminated?  The betterment of our economy fully depends upon the thorough implementation of the NAP but the way it is being led is just causing political and military points to score. The Karachi operation though is going well but it seems to fulfil some non-NAP plans as well. The government has no priorities except what brings in profits.

Reportedly, security forces have settled militants of the banned Haqani network and other Taliban in the Kurram agency which has created a sense of insecurity among the locals with clashes imminent to erupt.

Is Baluchistan reconciled? Is the Shia Hazara killing stopped or are the terrorists given free hand in this regard? We are still divided on good and bad terrorists and the Taliban. MQM too seems to be demarcated on the same lines soon. What about the registration and retreat of Afghan refugees who are involved in massive unemployment and paid mercenaries? There is no deadline for their departure. Why did not we follow the Iranian model to deal with the refugees, and let them pour into the whole country?

We have a multitude of questions with no or ambiguous answers. The country needs a complete overhauling and restructuring of its judicial and administrative system. Military rule is no solution. There is a dire need for competent, loyal and educated political leadership. Conceited and haughty interests, gluttonous agendas, massive corruption, a disgruntled judicial system and hypocritical religious pundits should really be dealt with with an iron hand.

The rules of law and institutional supremacy are much needed at this national crossroads. It takes just two hours to cross the country by air from South to North and just one hour from East to West. But the number of movements in this small country are countless. Every person is at all times not only ready to protest but is on the road due to one issue or the other. There are a lot of paid protesters
and mobs as well.

Is there no one in this country to save the whole nation and unite it? Is there anyone? The motherland is calling. The blood of the martyred is calling. The dying kids are calling. The destitute but patriot masses are calling. NAP, a plethora of words or a ray of hope, still indecisive.


Zulqarnain Sewag

The writer is a poet, columnist and researcher in in public policy. He tweets at ?@Z_Sewag.

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