The federal government has directed the provinces to identify ‘jet black terrorists’ — a term first used by the army chief to describe hardcore terrorists who have committed violent crimes — in a move to haunt the most wanted militants who would be tried in the proposed special trial courts.
The decision was taken on Wednesday in an executive meeting of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) a week after Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif assured the civilian leadership that special courts will only try ‘jet black terrorists’.
“The provinces have been directed to furnish a comprehensive list of jet black terrorists,” a senior official who attended the meeting told The Express Tribune.
Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who chaired the meeting, directed the provincial home secretaries and police chiefs to haunt pure militants involved in terrorism, the official added. The interior minister directed the provinces to execute the order on a ‘now-or-never basis’.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar Ali will likely to visit Balochistan and Karachi in coming days to discuss implementation of the National Action Plan with provincial authorities, an insider told The Express Tribune.
Premier Sharif will take up the issue of the ongoing separatist insurgency in Balochistan with Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik, he added. Similarly, he will be briefed by the civilian law-enforcement agencies on the ongoing ‘surgical operation’ in Karachi, he added.
The insider also pointed out that a joint information and intelligence system (JIIS) is being established by the interior ministry in the Nacta office to keep a check on proscribed organisations which are operating with new names.
The finance ministry, he revealed, would release Rs2 billion to execute the National Action Plan. The JIIS would also scan aiders, abettors and financiers of terrorism, he added.
Ordinary citizens, through a helpline, would able to inform intelligence agencies about hardcore criminals or anti-state elements in their areas, he said, adding that this system would also examine Madaris (Islamic seminaries) and their curriculum.
The interior minister informed the meeting that officials of some cellular networks have approached the prime minister and expressed their concerns over a possible crackdown against them on the issue of fake SIM cards. The meeting was also informed that more than 0.4 million unregistered SIM cards have been blocked thus far.
The officials told premier Nawaz that if the crackdown was launched against them, then they might stop their operations in Pakistan, he further revealed.
The provincial governments through Nacta Helpline 1717 are expediting response to all kinds of threats by the militants, reads an official statement. A comprehensive report on Nacta recommendations will be shared with the PM’s Office, it added.
“It is a fight, not for any political gain or between the provincial or federal government or about official or unofficial divide. It is a fight for the security and future of Pakistan and history will not spare any complacency or lack of commitment at this juncture,” Nisar was quoted as saying in the handout.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2015.
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