ISLAMABAD: The top counter-terrorism body is developing its own ‘red-book’ of terrorists compiling data from all provinces on terrorists.
The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) has started compiling a manuscript to exclusively maintain the names and profiles of most-wanted terrorists and militants, sources told The Express Tribune. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Punjab government have already shared their data with Nacta.
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All provinces are supposed to share their information on militants that is available with their law enforcement agencies. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan governments have yet to share their data on terrorists with Nacta for preparing the red book.
The FIA has been publishing its own red book of wanted criminals for the past many years. This is, however, the first attempt to compile a list of terrorists in the country wracked by terrorism for years.
Nacta is also planning to set up a ‘data centre’ of terrorists. The lack of coordination among the provinces and the federal government is apparent when it comes to taking collaborated actions against anti-social elements. But, officials believe, all provinces would benefit from the information hub.
Working under the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism devised after the Peshawar school massacre, the counter-terrorism body has also started working on the registration of religious seminaries throughout the country.
The sources said the federal government and all were on the same page on the policy to register madarssas and progress was expected within two weeks.
Under the revised anti-terror policy agreed upon by all stakeholders, Nacta was to be made fully operational to fight terrorism. The body has come under immense criticism for being ‘inactive’ and being unable to formulate a comprehensive policy against terror.
Billions for counter-terrorism, nothing for Nacta
Cooperation among different departments still seems a far-fetched idea and even the Nacta’s board of governors has not met in the past 13 months. The sources say this is all up to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to call the meeting of the board of governors.
The seriousness of the government to make Nacta fully operational can be gauged from the fact that the top anti-terror body still has no permanent address to work from.
Currently it is housed in the building of National Police Safety Commission situated near the notorious Lal Masjid in Islamabad. Before switching over to this location, the body was operating out of the offices of the interior ministry at Pakistan Secretariat.
The Nacta office is currently relying on private security companies to reinforce its own security besides depending on a few police personnel who have been deployed over here.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2016.
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