NAP execution

THERE have been numerous meetings at different levels to review progress of implementation of the National Action Plan against Terrorism and to discuss how to proceed further but the one convened by the new Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday was different in the sense that for the first time the real stakeholders were invited to discuss plan related issues. No doubt, there are apex committees in all the four provinces, which are headed by the Chief Ministers concerned but the element of overall coordination was apparently missing. The Chief Ministers, who attended the meeting on Wednesday, appreciated the initiative of Ahsan Iqbal.
The idea to bring all stakeholders together to ensure desired progress in implementation would surely lead to a positive change on the ground as provinces would take ownership of the decisions taken together. That the Interior Minister does not believe in rhetoric and wants a genuine change was also confirmed by the decision of the meeting that provincial home ministers would meet once a month and Chief Minister after every two months. It is also relevant to point out that Ahsan Iqbal is fully aware of the conspiracies against the grand project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the need to foil them. Now that he is in command of the security paraphernalia, it is hoped that the project related security would get priority. Similarly, the decision to maintain constant effective vigilance on activities of defunct organisations and terrorist outfits is also need of the time especially in the given national security scenario and regional/global developments as any laxity could cost the country dearly. As Interior Minister is also aware of the threat perception as well as remedies available, he has also laid focus on enlisting support of religious scholars in developing a national narrative. Religious circles and lobbies are well knit in Pakistan, they have a strong following and their sincere support could help transform the overall landscape of the country. It would be in the fitness of things if Mr Ahsan forms a Committee of Experts to work as a think-tank to government as far as identification of the terrorism-related problems and how best to address them.

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