ISLAMABAD: A day after an improvised explosive device blew up in Bajaur agency killing a Pakistan Peoples Party leader, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar on Monday claimed that all terror networks in the country, whether acting domestically or otherwise, had been dismantled.
Providing details of the National Action Plan (NAP) and action taken against extremism in the country, Nisar said that the country was more secure today.
“For the first time in 30 years, no terrorist network is operating from Pakistani soil,” the interior minister claimed while addressing a press briefing after a cabinet meeting in Islamabad.
Urging the media to refrain from unnecessarily analysing the civil-military ties, he assured that the working relationship had never been better, adding it was their working relationship which had resulted in the successful implementation of NAP.
Giving an historical overview, Nisar said militancy had been on the up since 2006, peaking after the army’s 2009 operations in Swat and Waziristan, with 2010 being the worst year in terms of terrorism, when 2,061 terrorist attacks were recorded in the country. Attacks were down to 695 in 2015, compared to 1,444 in 2006.
Flanked by Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Nisar said of the 20 points of NAP, they had recorded progress in registration of SIMs, action against armed militias, action against criminals in Karachi — where crime has gone down by 70%, crackdown on proscribed organisations, as well as progress on the Balochistan issue.
He said over 62,000 combing operations were conducted in the past nine months, in which over 68,000 suspects were detained.
The interior minister said the progress was achieved through almost 5,900 intelligence based operations (IBOs) across the country since the initiation of NAP.
“As many as 1,114 terrorists were killed in the last eight months.”
Referring to proscribed organisations, Nisar said there was no specific data on banned outfits, and that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had prepared a categorical list for these organisations.
“There are 61 proscribed organisations in the country with one being on the watch list,” he said. This down from the 212 organisations according to a March 2013 list.
“SIMs used in heinous criminal offences has become zero,” said Nisar, adding that over 140 million SIMs were also verified.
Talking about deweaponisation — a topic broached during his visit to Karachi last week, the interior minister said that they had decided to allow arms only for LEAs and armed forces.
“No other group can use or exhibit arms,” he said. “There has been action against a number of sectarian groups and Punjab is at the forefront in this.”
About the Balochistan situation, the interior minister said “one could not imagine the change that has come” in the province.
A number of militant camps have been dismantled, and over five of them have laid down arms, he added.
“A substantive dialogue process is also continuing and a breakthrough is expected soon,” said the interior minister.
The areas which showed slow progress in NAP include reforms in FATA, refugee-related issues and madrassa reforms.
“We will call a meeting of the ministries concerned which have shown slow progress in terms of NAP,” said Nisar.
Cabinet meeting on NAP, Zarb-e-Azb
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a cabinet meeting to review the National Action Plan, Radio Pakistan reported.
Expressing the government’s commitment to implement the plan in its essence, he reiterated that those disseminating hatred, inciting militancy and encouraging terrorism will not be spared. He added that terrorism cannot be tolerated.
Having visited Karachi late last week, the premier reminded that the security operation against criminal elements in Karachi was launched with the consensus of all stakeholders adding that results from the operation were visible.
Noting how the residents of Karachi wanted peace, Nawaz said that the government will not allow political expediency to come in the way.
Hinting at the recent resignations in parliament filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the premier said that those who have been elected in to the Parliament should place their grievances and raise their issues on the floor of the assembly.
He directed the interior ministry to prepare a strategy to de-weaponize the society.
Discussing gains in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Nawaz lauded the role of all civil and military organizations in achieving the operation’s goals. He backed the operation to continue till peace is achieved from FATA to Balochistan and Karachi.
On Balochistan he said that situation in the militancy hit province was improving day by day.