Considering that security is a key issue for our country, the decisions taken at a high-level meeting in Islamabad on June 20 to rethink the way security personnel are deployed is welcome. The question though is whether the steps announced will be implemented and if so, how effectively and for how long. We have frequently seen lofty promises made by politicians in our country simply fizzle out.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that apart from the president, the prime minister and the chief justice of Pakistan, security protocol by civil security services will not be offered to any other individual in the country. He has emphasised that playing the role of guards is not what security forces are intended to do. This is indeed correct. In the past, there have been accounts of how the deployment of personnel belonging to various agencies on VIP security duty reduces the number available for other key tasks in a country torn apart by terrorism and a lack of law and order.
The other decisions taken are also welcome. The interior minister has said that two task forces will be set up — one to review internal security and the other to look into the issue of missing persons. This, too, is a much-needed measure. Both areas are a cause of deep concern in a country where no one can be assured of safety any longer. If the present government can succeed in even partially improving the security situation, it would have taken a huge step and set the bricks in the road, which can lead to more investment, economic growth and development. But, of course, this task will require far more than promises. What has been said is good. It would now be even better to see it being implemented and followed through by sound measures, which can truly bring about a positive change in the situation we all currently live in, with Pakistan considered one of the most dangerous places on earth.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2013.
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