Poorly-funded: Nacta gets Rs100m against Rs2b demand

Counter-terror body has 503 posts still lying vacant, top court told

Our Correspondent July 22, 2015
Counter-terror body has 503 posts still lying vacant, top court told.

ISLAMABAD: The top court has expressed its concerns over the ineffectiveness of the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) in eradicating terrorism in the country. It has also asked the federal and provincial governments to submit comprehensive report regarding non-governmental organisations until July 28.

The two-judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC), headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja while hearing a case regarding the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Wednesday, remarked that Nacta should be effective for winning the war on terror.  Justice Khawaja lamented that despite the passage of eight months, NAP has not been implemented.

NAP was introduced following the December 16, 2014 deadly Taliban rampage at the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed over 150 students and staff.

During the hearing, the bench was told that Rs2 billion was demanded for making Nacta effective but in the budget for 2015-16, an amount of Rs100.34 million has been allocated for it, adding that there are 503 vacancies in Nacta but presently only 57 officials are working, wherein most of them are drivers and office boys. Upon this, the court expressed its concerns over the shortage of fund for Nacta.

Nacta chairman Hamid Ali Khan told the bench that services of skilled military officials have not been provided because they are busy in operation Zarb-e-Azb. He, however, claimed that the federal government is fully implementing NAP.

Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti told the bench that 274 cases have been registered and 71 persons arrested through dubious phone calls.

Meanwhile, the apex court has directed all the provincial governments, including federal, to submit comprehensive details regarding NGOs’ projects, their official names, source of funding and expenditures until July 28.

The bench also expressed its dissatisfaction over the Interior Ministry’s report regarding the registration of NGOs and observed that the government must have complete record of all NGOs operating in the country. The bench raised a question as to why the Joint Intelligence Directorate has not been established so far.

During the hearing, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan governments admitted that earlier there is no procedure regarding the registration of NGOs.

On the other hand, Additional Advocate General Punjab Razaq A Mirza while submitting a report told the court that 49,000 NGOs and 16,000 madrassas are working in the province, adding that cases have been registered against 48 NGOs.

However, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan pointed out that the report does not reveal the source of funding of these NGOs. The bench asked the law officer to supply the copy of that report to other provinces’ law officers so that they could prepare reports in the same way. The hearing of the case is adjourned until July 28.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2015.