Action against proscribed outfits

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ONE of the twenty one points of National Action Plan (NAP), a consensus document framed after 2014 attack on Army Public School, was to ensure that no proscribed organisation would be allowed to operate or re-emerge with new names as these outfits are behind promoting extremism and intolerance in the country with their radicalised ideologies. Despite commitment made in the NAP, it is lamentable that we continued to see the outlaws staying engaged with their activities including that of fund raising and holding rallies without any check over the last three years. However, it finally appears that the government has decided to take some firm actions against them, which is imperative to crush the terrorist elements once and for all.
Friday saw the Interior Ministry releasing a list of all the 72 blacklisted outfits with stern and clear warning that aiding or abetting any of the proscribed organisations, financially or otherwise would also be considered a crime. Hence, people should avoid giving them charity, and should instead report any suspicious activities on 1717. The list came after the Islamabad administration made a decisive move against the outlaws on the first day of New Year prohibiting fundraising activities by any organisations or individuals that are named in UN watch lists or banned by the Government of Pakistan for having links with terrorist activities. While action has already been started in the federal capital with the registration of FIRs against a banned outfit for putting up banners, responsibility also rests with provincial governments to supplement the federal government’s efforts by initiating action in their areas of precincts in order to remove these black scars on face of the country. These outfits in fact use different mediums to carry out their activities. They raise funds not only by placing donation boxes in markets and other public places, holding events, as well as displaying advertisements and banners but are also actively using the social media and internet for several purposes including recruitment, training, communication and propagation of their negative ideologies especially amongst educated youth. Therefore, a holistic approach is required to put a complete curb on their activities. Besides strict action taken gainst them without any discrimination, PTA also needs to develop such a mechanism that could blackout and dismantle these organisations on the internet.