Stopping banned outfits

NACTA has forwarded names of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al Alami to the Ministry of Interior for inclusion in the list of proscribed organisations. Both the outfits have remained involved in some horrific terrorist acts including the recent attacks on lawyers and police training centres in Quetta which killed scores of people. We welcome the move but expect that relevant quarters would also do the needful to ensure that these outfits or the ones proscribed earlier do not surface again.
Once an organisation is banned, its infrastructure is to be sealed, activities prohibited and members to be monitored. Thus, a banned outfit should not be allowed to open bank account, publish material or hold public meetings. On ground however, these constraints on members of banned outfits are not enforced strictly. This is why we still see them holding protest demonstrations and meetings in public every now and then. All this nullifies the impact of whole effort against banned organisations. In the first couple of months after the NAP was announced, provincial police were actively seen carrying out a number of raids against those disseminating, selling or printing material of banned groups. Reportedly, a large number of supporters of banned outfits were also arrested. However as of today, little is known about those apprehended. Whether they were convicted or acquitted is not known to anybody. In fact, there is a dire need to develop a strong network that monitors and check re-surfacing of the outfits which operate secretly or under different names. NACTA could serve this role but it is disappointing that despite passage of many years, nothing concrete has been done to strengthen this vital institution. The establishment of joint intelligence directorate still appears to be a distant dream. Anyway, in the present circumstances, it is the responsibility of provincial police departments to keep a vigilant eye on the proscribed outfits and take legal action whenever necessary. In addition, there is also need to frequently share with public updated list of proscribed outfits in order to choke their funding and re-emergence.

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