National action plan: Govt seeks help of US counter-terror experts

Published: December 19, 2014
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Interior Ministry on Thursday approached American Embassy to send some counter-terrorism experts who are proficient in South Asian security affairs to assist Pakistan’s top counter-terrorism body NACTA. DESIGN: NABEEL ABDUSAMAD.

Interior Ministry on Thursday approached American Embassy to send some counter-terrorism experts who are proficient in South Asian security affairs to assist Pakistan’s top counter-terrorism body NACTA. DESIGN: NABEEL ABDUSAMAD.

ISLAMABAD: 

After getting go-ahead of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday for holding the first meeting of all parliamentary groups for an anti-terror action plan on Friday, the government has also sought assistance of the United States anti-terrorism experts to help craft the plan, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Interior Ministry on Thursday approached American Embassy to send some counter-terrorism experts who are proficient in South Asian security affairs to assist Pakistan’s top counter-terrorism body – the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), said a senior official.

The development comes after two back-to-back meetings of Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday.

American security experts, if available in rapid response, will not only assist our security agencies but most likely brief representatives of all political parties at the National Action Plan Committee (NAPC) next week, added the interior ministry official, who did not want to be named.

The experts associated with American National Counterterrorism Center will assist Pakistan in preparing components of its counter-terror strategy which will lead Islamabad to form a new National Anti-Terrorism Headquarters either at Prime Minister Secretariat or military headquarters in Rawalpindi with a dedicated ‘War Room’ functioning around the clock, he added.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will chair today’s (Friday) meeting while Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt General (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch will represent the government, officials said.

They stated that the meeting will not be open for the media. The committee will form a National Action Plan within seven days and present it to the government. The plan will also be presented to the public after the approval of political leadership, they added.

The following MPs will represent their parties to the committee: Dr Shireen Mazari, PTI, Federal Minister for Housing and Works Akram Durrani, JUI-F, Sahibzada Tariqullah, JI, Senator Rehman Malik and Qamar Zaman Kaira, PPP, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, PkMAP, Sheikh Rashid, AML, Anisa Zaib, PPP-Sherpao, Ijazul Haq, PML-Zia, Farooq Sattar and Senator Babar Khan Ghauri, MQM.

Following the government’s formal request to all parliamentary groups to send the name of their representative for the anti-terror action plan committee, almost all have sent their names.

In his press conference in Peshawar on Wednesday, the prime minister had announced to draft a national plan of action against terrorists and act upon it immediately.

Inside development

Well-placed sources in the federal government said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, during the all-party confab in Peshawar, had suggested the idea of National Action Plan against terrorism which PM Nawaz, despite reservations shown by other political parties, had immediately approved.

Premier Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and a few PPP leaders just to appease the PTI chief had endorsed his idea and formed the plan committee, the sources pointed out.

The sources said that other political leaders told the premier that the government has recently appointed head of NACTA and interior ministry has already made National Security Policy so let them do their work instead of forming another committee in this regard.

Imran Khan, the sources said, told the APC participants that he had the idea how to deal terrorism, and national plan is mandatory which would be a guide for the government to take action against terrorism in the future.

PM Nawaz did not raise any objection on this proposal and immediately endorsed it, the sources said, and adding that the plan committee would be another rehearsal of sitting and this was the reason all political parties have nominated their second- or third-tier representatives instead of their top-ranking leaders.

“If we fail to act now, people of Pakistan will say either our leaders are incompetent or they are cowards. If we don’t act, somebody else will, and we will all be irrelevant and instead of our vision of becoming an Asian Tiger, we will be considered as a ‘paper tiger’,” said Senator Mushahid Hussain who is representing Pakistan Muslim League-Q in NAPC.

Urging Premier Nawaz, he said, the incumbent government should act in a decisive manner and follow the slogan of Nike, the famous corporate brand, which says ‘Just Do it’.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Dec 19, 2014 - 4:27AM

    one of the very good decision by pak govt, leadership isn’t just international meetings, economy or jalsa stuff do some work, public protection is your responsibility as well

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  • Khan
    Dec 19, 2014 - 5:48AM

    Why involve the Americans on all our matters? Don’t we know how the TTP is living under their shadows in Afghanistan?

    Our armed forces is highly capable of forming an anti-terror action plan, let them handle the issue!!

    Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Dec 19, 2014 - 5:57AM

    USA counter terrorism advice ten years ago was to launch an offensive into N Waziristan – you going to wait another ten years to follow their current advice?

    Recommend

  • Alizai
    Dec 19, 2014 - 7:59AM

    Please let this be it. No more spilled blood in the name of religion.

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 19, 2014 - 8:46AM

    Let’s see how many readers recommend “JUST DO IT”!

    Recommend

  • Mustajab-ur-Rab Khan
    Dec 19, 2014 - 9:37AM

    It is surprising to read that the Govt. of Pakistan has requested the US Govt. for help and assistance, although, each and every citizen of this Country and the Govt. is fully aware that US is the root cause of problems in Pakistan. In my view, the Govt. of Pakistan should come up with its own action plan by taking all the relevant quarters on board including the armed forces without the help and assistance of US. It is time WE SHOULD STAND UP ON OUR OWN FEET AND START TAKING DECISIONS FOR THE INTEREST OF THE COUNTRY AND THE NATION. Last but not the least, Decisions taken should be implemented without Delay.

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  • bahaha
    Dec 19, 2014 - 10:02AM

    There is no need to ask the US for help. There are plenty of experts here. BUT you people only ask Judges, Generals and Journalists. Open your eyes. The solution is simple, very simple

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  • sabi
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:00PM

    The committee consists of people who are part the menace.Is this a joke to grieved nation.

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  • Salman Hasan
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:03PM

    I don’t understand why would you need any foreign country’s help in devising a counter terrorism plan. Who would know all the dynamics of Pakistan better than our own specialists. We should keep all the foreign agencies out of all these policy matters as you don’t want to make strategic policies public. Once things are available on Google, you will lose all the advantages and your policies will fail.

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  • MOZ
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:45PM

    @numbersnumbers:
    Do you feel disappointed?? Well I’ll be the first one to be that wise.

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  • unbelievable
    Dec 19, 2014 - 8:21PM

    @Salman Hasan:

    I don’t understand why would you need
    any foreign country’s help in devising
    a counter terrorism plan

    If the past 12 years is any indication you need all the help you can get. Also – the only notable Islamic terrorist attack on American soil after 911 was the Boston Bombing and they seemed to wrap that up quickly with all perpetrators either dead or sitting in jail. You may not like the American’s but they appear to have been successful in keeping terrorism off their soil.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 20, 2014 - 12:07AM

    It is unbelieveable how and why US – Pakistan relations deteriorated, when no Pakistani was involved in 911, and Pakistan gave incredible support to the US after 911.

    Lets see if the US steps up – Pakistan Army needs a lot of equipment and resources to deal with this evil.

    Hopefully in future the relationship will be more positive and stable.

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