ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced that Pakistan's new national security policy draft was complete, and would be made public within a few days.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Nisar said the draft policy would address the terrorist threat. He said the government was keeping dialogue as the number one option in dealing with the situation, given that this is what was decided in the All-Parties Conference.
If talks fail, the interior minister said the state would pursue strategic action against terrorists, and lastly, would launch a full blown operation if both talks and strategic action failed.
He said the draft would be presented to the Cabintet committee on National Security, after which it would be presented in the cabinet. After the cabinet's approval, the policy would be announced.
Nisar added that the security policy was divided into three parts, of which one -- dealing with sensitive issues of national security -- would remain secret.
The interior minister said the policy had a time frame for its implementation, and in a year's time it would be institutionalized and operational.
What will the policy contain?
Accoding to an earlier report, the draft of the National Security Policy 2013 has been prepared by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta).
As part of its proposed national security policy, the government will ask ‘brotherly’ Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, to clamp down on financers of sectarian and terrorist networks operating in Pakistan.
The new policy, according to officials speaking earlier this year, observes that clerics have failed to provide the people lessons on peace and as such calls for reforming the education structure. It notes that the current education structure facilitates an extremist mindset and provides terrorist organisations with potential recruits.
The policy envisages a structured education and awareness campaign to counter the ‘distorted version of Islam’ disseminated by terrorists, and offer a counter discourse based on Islamic values of peace and tolerance.
The five layers of the national security policy are: to dismantle, to contain, to prevent, to educate and to reintegrate.
It proposes that Pakistan follow China’s security model in Hong Kong and Mahathir Mohamad’s security policy in Malaysia to tackle terrorism and extremism.
The document advocates a shift from a mono-faceted approach relying on the use of force alone to a multi-layered approach addressing all dimensions of the problem at nearly all levels. It calls for reappraisal of Pakistan’s foreign policy, especially vis-à-vis its neighbours. It also suggests police reforms and review of anti-terrorism laws to rid them of lacunas.
The new policy proposes specialised counter-terrorist financing units at the provincial level and strengthening of the existing unit in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The new policy says that the state should devise a mechanism to reintegrate those who either leave so-called jihadi organisations or who get disengage from such acts on any account. The state can utilise former militants through dialogue and also imprisoned terrorists or other suitable strategy to do so.
The policy highlights several causes of terrorism and extremism in the country which, according to NACTA, should be addressed. These causes include 1.) Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s and consequent developments of ‘jihadi networks’ through US assistance 2.) the spread of extremist ideology through literature, madrassas, media and other propaganda techniques, and 3.) international linkages facilitating the cause of terrorists and extremists in one way or the way.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ