PM wants the entire country de-weaponised

Published: September 14, 2015
Nawaz irked at weak areas in NAP’s implementation. PHOTO: AFP

Nawaz irked at weak areas in NAP’s implementation. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Admitting slow progress in some key areas of the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered swift legislation to purge the country of illegal weapons. “I want the whole country to be de-weaponised,” he told his cabinet colleagues during the apex committee’s meeting held at his office on Thursday.

The interior division will formulate a draft policy for de-weaponisation of the country, and consultations with all the provinces and stakeholders have already begun, the premier said. “There is no room for sectarianism in Pakistan. Such organisations will not be allowed to work in the country. The government has started taking action against them,” the premier was quoted as saying in the minutes of the cabinet meeting. All the relevant ministries/divisions should suggest appropriate amendments in the laws for NAP’s effective implementation, he ordered.

Poor execution of nine of the 20 areas of NAP has irked the prime minister, who directed Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to take these points seriously.

Listing the nine weak points, the premier said a lot needs to be done as regards madrassas, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, terrorist financing, reforms in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Afghan refugees, legal amendments, the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta), religious persecution and sectarianism.

The cabinet expressed satisfaction over progress in the remaining areas of the NAP: subscriber identity modules, executions, armed militias, speedy trial courts, hate speech, the Karachi operation, counterterrorism forces, militancy in Punjab, glorification of terrorists, proscribed organisations and Balochistan.

Terming the Karachi operation a key part of the NAP, Nawaz urged the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to try to resolve their issues on the floor of the house instead of resigning from the assemblies.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who was a member of the parliamentary committee that had formulated the 20 points of the action plan, said: “The glass is half full, as far as the national resolve to curb, contain and crush terrorism is concerned.”

For this campaign to reach its logical conclusion, Mushahid listed three vital factors: civil-military harmony is indispensable, the NAP should be a one-window operation run by an anti-terror tsar, and public opinion should be mobilised through a counter-narrative via the media.

“We should realise as a nation that it’s now or never, and we can’t allow any compulsions or constraints in this campaign. For too long our country has been hostage to self-imposed compulsions.”

Now the people are feeling a change for the better, and this factor is spawning a cautious ‘can-do’ optimism that the country can reverse the wrongs of the past and move forward with clarity, cohesion and commitment, he said.

Former Sindh police chief Afzal Ali Shigri observed that the military is playing a proactive role in executing the NAP.

Listing various reasons of slow progress of the NAP, he said: “As far as the first key point of de-radicalisation goes, unaddressed seminaries’ reforms are needed. A separate department cell of the police has yet to be established to tackle sectarian violence. Major amendments in the criminal justice system have yet to be made.” He also said that Nacta has yet to be strengthened.

MNA Ijazul Haq, who was also a member of the parliamentary committee, said the civilian government needs to alert the provinces with louder instructions for executing the plan more aggressively.

He demanded scrutiny of hundreds of thousands of arms licences issued in the past years. “This remains one of the main causes behind free flow of weapons that fuels violence across the country.”

On madrassa reforms, he proposed that a joint board of ministries of the interior, religious affairs and education take up the issue. “Lack of coordination between the government and madrassas’ representatives remains a major stumbling block to resolve this core issue since 2005.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th,  2015.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • pakistani
    Sep 14, 2015 - 10:34AM

    This is critical.

    It can be done.Recommend

  • samir
    Sep 14, 2015 - 10:40AM

    Pakistan is doing a surgery and results will show in 10 years. India is going deeper into religious fundamentalism and results will show in 10 years.Recommend

  • Yayy
    Sep 14, 2015 - 10:58AM

    How many such news came when PPP was in power? In comparison to PPP this government is actually working. Appreciate where credit is due Recommend

  • Salman
    Sep 14, 2015 - 11:03AM

    Let’s start with Gujranwala ? The PML(N)’s Nine Zero. Recommend

  • Rollin & Trollin
    Sep 14, 2015 - 11:25AM

    Let’s make the emasculation complete and get rid of the nukes…Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Sep 14, 2015 - 11:33AM

    An idle mind is the devil’s playground. Nawaz Sharif is afflicted with this malady and he thinks up all kinds of silly notions impossible in this country. He seriously needs to see a Doctor at tax-payers expense. Recommend

  • Komal S
    Sep 14, 2015 - 12:21PM


    Good that Pakistan is going through a surgery and addressing the root cause. While everybody in India will wish the best for Pakistan to get rid of the menace it created. On the other hand your observation on India is completely wrong. BJP is for a much more pronounced carrot and stick policy wrt Pakistan as compared to a non-existing pakistan policy of the previous government. From a domestic policy perspective, BJP is against minority appeasement policy of the Congress Government. This Government is for pro-development and the numbers are already showing. Instead of hurling abuse at a democratically elected leader in a free and fair election, it may make sense to take a pause and see how to work with him. By the way, your track record of working with Congress is not any better.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Sep 14, 2015 - 1:18PM

    …….and I want a BMW with Penelope Cruz in it.Recommend

  • Shaukat ali
    Sep 14, 2015 - 2:28PM

    The General malaise of Pakistanis is evident here. When some bad news comes from the country, country is said to be doomed. When something good happens, it’s because we just got lucky and leaders don’t deserve any credit. When finally leaders take crucial initiatives, we call it wishful thinking. If Pakistan is to make real progress, ordinary citizens will need to think positively and give credit where its due regardless of whose party is in power. Gotta love the exhaustive interest Indian trolls take in every minute internal problem of Pakistan. Please print.Recommend

  • Sawaiz
    Sep 14, 2015 - 2:50PM

    Pml N Zindabad Pakistan Zindabad results will come soon Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Sep 14, 2015 - 3:54PM

    One of the most critical item in NAP was a creation / establishment of special courts, which has not been even discussed. Most of the NAP 20 points need a serious tackling by the civilian govt which is being prodded by the Army, because they realize their war on terror & the sacrifices will go to waste without the civilian part, so, the govt in power wake up ! do your part. The Army has been given 2 years to clean up, so while they doing their part, you do yours, otherwise, we will be back to square 1. Massive development work is needed in FATA & Khyber agency etc; where the IDPs need to return to their homes, but till now it is too slow. The civilian govt cannot afford to just sit back & ponder over the progress in slow motion. They have to walk the talk. Gen Raheel has only 1.5 years & am positive, he will not get any extension. Who is next we do not know, whether he will have same kind of leadership quality, vigor, stamina & initiative as Gen Raheel ?

    De-weaponisation as envisaged by PM is not easy. How about those un-licensed ones ? No terrorists are fighting with licensed ones ? all are un-licensed ones & how is it going to be taken back from them ? any solution ? Inflow of these un-licensed ones can be checked if we have proper border monitoring forces. Authorities have already identified in the SC that the borders of Chaman & Torkham are so much under staffed that there is no record of who is coming & going & what goods coming & going, this is 1 part, the other is, there are many porous section of our common border in Afghanistan which only the smugglers know. All of these need to be plugged if we need to STOP inflow of weapons & terrorists, but then who is going to bell the cat ? Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 14, 2015 - 4:55PM

    If government accomplishes this most import task, it would be one of the greatest achievement by any government. Only PML(N) can do it.Recommend

  • Curious
    Sep 14, 2015 - 6:39PM

    Shaukat Ali are you working with Perv Rashid?Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Sep 15, 2015 - 5:43PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    Please read my above comment. de-weaponisation of licensed weapons may be relatively easy ( that too 2 years passed, it has not been regularized & talking about de-weaponisation is a far fetched dream ), but what about all those un-licensed weapons which the criminals & terrorists use ? eh ! Recommend

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