Expedite anti-terror operation

FOLLOWING Lahore incident, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has ordered further gearing up operation Raddul Fassad. Resultantly, security forces carried out a series of operations in Lahore the other day and arrested twenty-one suspects including those belonging to Tehreek-i-Taliban Swat.
Indeed, our security forces have achieved major successes in the war on terror – something also acknowledged by the world community but the latest horrific incident in Lahore is a stark reminder that sleeper cells of terrorists still exist in major cities having the capability to target at their own freewill. Only with better intelligence sharing and timely action in the wake of issuance of red alerts is need of the hour to foil the sordid acts of terrorists. In these columns we have repeatedly been emphasising upon the full operationalization of NACTA and the intelligence directorate to be established under its domain. The NACTA established in 2009 was mandated to devise a counter-terrorism strategy that addresses short, medium and long-term goals and devise action plans for their implementation. But despite passage of so many years and repeated commitments made by present government to fully empower the authority, we still see no progress towards that end and the fact is that the authority continues to be dormant. Given the challenges faced by the country, both internal and external, we will urge the government to pay attention towards operationalization of the NACTA in order to coordinate and unify anti-terror efforts. Along with this, special training courses should be initiated for civil armed forces and police that enable and equip them to confront terrorists’ head on. Though political uncertainty is prevailing following Panama Papers, it should not digress government’s attention from security-related issues and all necessary steps must be initiated to instil sense of security amongst the people.

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