Thursday February 02, 2023

Action against banned outfits planned

August 12, 2016

ISLAMABAD: A high-level meeting presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to resolutely move against proscribed organizations, which keep floating under changed names, it is reliably learnt.

“Because of the planned action, the phenomenon of outlawed outfits, regardless of the names under which they are operating, will evaporate,” a credible source that did not want to be named told The News, citing these deliberations, which spanned ten hours over the past two days.

He said that the agencies have the precise information that some banned outfits were still engaged in illegal activities under different nomenclatures. “When evidence is available, it will not be difficult to proceed against them in a result-oriented manner.”

The source said this was a long-awaited action under the counterterrorism National Action Plan (NAP) and a decision was called for, which has now been taken. “There will be no dilly-dallying whatsoever from now on.”

He said that the prime minister will preside over another similar meeting, to be also attended by top military leadership, early next week in which ‘tasking’ will be done to different arms. The areas will be allocated in which they will operate, he said.

The source said that the task force will comprise representatives of the interior ministry, all premier civilian and military intelligence agencies, police and provincial home departments to monitor the progress in the implementation of the NAP.

He said that at least once in a month, the prime minister will chair the meetings of the task force to review the progress made and will issue necessary directions when required.

The source expected that since the representatives of all the key agencies, which were engaged in the anti-terrorism fight, were part of the task force, there would be much more coordination among the intelligence agencies that has been lacking especially between civilian and military outfits.

Already, he said, there is no problem of coordination between the civilian agency, the Intelligence Bureau, and provincial police particularly the Counter Terrorism Departments of the provinces.

“The operations would now be on a fast track under the NAP,” the source said and added that the Quetta carnage infused urgency in all the relevant quarters. He was of the view that everyone agreed that the campaign must be intensified.

He said that all aspects of the NAP came under discussion in the lengthy meetings. It was decided to elaborately move in the areas where action is immediately needed, he said. “The loopholes will now be plugged completely.”

The source said that the task force would frequently meet to deliberate upon the activities being undertaken across Pakistan against terrorists.

He said that provincial governments would be fully involved in these actions because it was difficult to achieve the desired success without their absolute cooperation and association.

The source said that high-level intensive discussions, attended by the chiefs of all key intelligence agencies and presided by the prime minister, were required since long to review flaws and shortcomings in the implementation of the NAP.

He said a proactive approach would be visible in various fields in the days to come for strict implementation of the NAP. However, he said there were no quick fixes and the fight against terrorists was a long haul to be continued with vigour and force at the time.