Policy revision: Fresh plan proposed to fight terrorism

Special unit to replace army in insurgency-hit areas.

Asad Kharal July 22, 2013
Special unit to replace army in insurgency-hit areas. PHOTO: FILE


The Centre for Peace and Security Studies (CPSS) has proposed changes in the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NCTS) and sent its draft proposals to the premier and the interior minister, The Express Tribune has learnt. 

The proposed strategy revolves around 4Ts — trace, trail, tackle and transform — which were missing in the previous approaches.

The previous PPP-led government adopted the 3D strategy— development, dialogue and deterrence—which bore little or no results. The draft, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, stated that militancy and terrorism has claimed over 48,000 lives and has cost the national exchequer more than $60 billion over the past 10 years.

A brief of the draft of the national anti-terrorism policy titled National Counter-Terrorism and Extremism Policy formulated by the PML-N, likely to be unveiled in the All Parties Conference to be held later this month constitutes five elements.

Unlike the previous government’s policy, PML-N’s strategies revolves around five things— dismantle, contain, prevent, educate and reintegrate.

Strategic context

The draft says that while the banned oganisations ‘survive and thrive’ they will pose a serious threat to Pakistan’s own security.

Reforms to run the strategy

The National Counter Terrorism Force (NCTF) shall be established. It will have intelligence and law enforcement powers. It will collect information and strike at the terrorists itself.

“Regular police will continue to do its routine crime control work and cooperate with NCTF in target hardening and cordoning etc,” the draft proposed.

It further suggested that the  National Counter Insurgency Force (NCIF) shall be established which will replace armed forces in insurgency-hit areas. NCIF will operate in insurgency hit areas.

The army will be withdrawn gradually and replaced by NCIF piecemeal unit by unit, when fully trained and properly equipped to meet the challenges of insurgency in Fata.

Intelligence Directorate will be set up to overcome the perennial issue of the difficulty of coordinating intelligence between various intelligence set-ups belonging to a different element of the security apparatus.

The Ministry of Security and Counter-Terrorism shall be formed to work as the controlling authority of all counter-terrorism endeavors, ideally right under the supervision of the prime minister or the interior minister.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.