Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

National Action Plan: An Evaluation

By Zulqarnain Sewag

Miyamoto Musashi, a victorious Japanese swordsman wrote in his famous book ‘The Book of Five Rings’ that in strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. But these thoughts are taken into account by those who have vision, farsightedness and pain of their nation. The situation of our country is much different. Here a government comes to serve its vested interests and secure enough to be financially powerful through thieving national exchequer. None of the institution is above board.

National Action Plan under its famous 20 points agenda unanimously taken on December 24, 2014 with the backing of 21st Constitutional Amendment was aimed at execution of convicted terrorists, establishment of special trial courts, ensured curtailment of militias functioning in the country, strengthening and activation of NACTA, countering hate speech and fanatic material, choking financing for terrorists and organisations, controlling the re-emergence of proscribed organisations, establishing and deploying a dedicated counter-terrorism force, taking effective steps against religious persecution, registration and regulation of madrassas, ban on glorification of terrorism and terrorist organisations through print and electronic media, FATA reforms, dismantling communication networks of terrorist organisations, measures against abuse of internet and social media for terrorism, zero tolerance for militancy in Punjab, taking the ongoing operation in Karachi to its logical conclusion, Baluchistan reconciliation, dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists, policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees and revamping and reforming the criminal justice system but what is achieved so far except some lame figures. Except little work on few, more than 15 points are still crying to be taken action against but of no avail.

 None of the terrorist is executed yet but general criminals due to impotent prosecution system, fearful judges and lack of witnesses. Especial Military Courts as a temporary solution were established as a bigger black spot and question mark on the performance of judiciary but SC has made them dysfunctional so what is next? Which steps have been inculcated to revamp outdated criminal prosecution system? Has any action taken against the clerics and students of Laal Masjid and Jamia Hifsa for their open allegiance of ISIS who are operating under the nose of ISI headquarter in Islamabad? Is only Sindh the land of armed militias or is it political victimization? Has NACTA been strengthened and activated or is the victim of political and bureaucratic incompetence, negligence, indifferences and ineffectiveness? No funds are allocated for NACTA in the current financial year. How much hate material is captured and dumped except few steps taken in Urdu Bazaar Lahore? Are not seminaries the centre of hate material, has any action taken against them especially Laal Masjid, Dar ul Uloom Haqania and their allied seminaries?

Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries like Kuwait, Qatar, and UAE are financing terrorists in Pakistan and spreading extremism, sectarianism and hate speech. Daily Guardian UK in 2010 and Daily Dawn in 2011 reported that $100 million annual foreign funding is made to Deobandi and Ahl e Hadith clerics and seminaries in Pakistan. A statement issued by Saudi embassy states that they finance all these religious pundits with the knowledge of Pakistani govt. Interior Minister on January 10, 2015 stated that the roots of extremism are traced to the country on our Western border and to the Gulf States where a large Pakistani Diaspora is working. Has any step taken at diplomatic level to curb this sorry state of affairs or still $1.5 B Saudi ghost aid is working? What actions have been taken to crush 212 proscribed organizations? People linked with ASWJ, LeJ, SSP and many other banned organizations are openly contesting elections but there is no law to stop and trial them. Hizb ul Tahrir whose agendum/pamphlets are distributed during every Friday prayers in G-10/2, Islamabad mosque and in the adjacent market is free to operate.

What an irony that chief of the banned and murderous organization, ASWJ, is running so-called Difah-e-Pakistan council along with other fake defenders! What a more bitter irony that state forces are deployed to guard the head and office bearers of banned ASWJ. Killing of Malik Ishaq along with his 13 other accomplices by security forces on July 29th 2015 is very laudable step, but will this legacy of killing proscribed terrorists be continued or will just prove a split within ASWJ. What a surprise and astonishing that ASWJ has not made any protest on the killing of its leader! Would anybody spare some moments to explain what difference between LeT and JuD is? JuD is just put on watch list. Is it enough? Which steps are taken to counter religious persecution and exploitation? Except few sects, all other sects in Pakistan are infidels and are needed to be butchered immediately. Either state does not seem serious or it has jaundice eyes. Are religious seminaries been regulated and registered? Most of the mosques and seminaries in Islamabad are built on illegal land, is there made any demolishing? Even state has no exact record of the number of seminaries how will it restrain their funding! Reportedly, only in Islamabad, the number of registered seminaries is 187 whereas of unregistered is 446. Though Sindh government have now decided to register ghost madrassas and make their geo-fencing but what about rest of the provinces?

 Pakistan has more than 132 million mobile phone users but number of SIM cards registered till March 10, 2015 are 57335550 as per govt figures but what about rest of the more than half users and the users of the Blackphones? Flags, banners, booklets, magazines and pamphlets etc of the banned organizations are openly available in every nook and corner of the country, the banned outfits are writing with different names as Masood, leader of JeM is writing with pseudonym Saadi, what steps have been taken to seize them? Is FATA reformed or the poor millions of the IDPs are left to die in severe weathers and hunger or are forced to sign brutal Social Contract? Social media is full of dirt and filth, no reported action is still taken against the responsible. National Assembly Committee has recently passed in haste the controversial Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2015. And it is still controversial.

ISIS is making its headways. Reportedly it has captured two districts in Afghanistan near to Pakistani border. Govt is claiming massive involvement of Indian spy agency, RAW in country’s instability. The incumbent government has proven ties with the militant and extremist organizations but who will take action against the both? Has Interior Ministry recorded and updated the weapon licences? Are the snake-pits of the terrorists eliminated? The betterment of our economy fully depends upon the thorough implementation of the NAP but which way we are leading it, just political and military point scoring and political victimization of the old parties? Karachi operation though is going good but it seems to fulfil some non-NAP plans as well. Government has no priorities but what profits it more. Reportedly, security forces have settled militants of the banned Haqani network and other good Taliban in Kurram agency which has created the sense of insecurity among the locals and clashes are imminent to erupt. Is Baluchistan reconciled? Is Shia Hazara killing stopped or the terrorists are given free hand in this regard? We are still divided on good and bad terrorists and Taliban. MQM too seems to be demarcated on the same lines soon. What about the registration and retreat of Afghan refugees who are involved in massive unemployment and paid mercenaries? There is no deadline for their departure. Why did not we follow Iran model to deal with the refugees, and why did we let them pour into the whole country.

Yet we have questions par question with no or ambiguous answers. Country needs complete overhauling and restructuring of its judicial and administrative system. Military rule is no solution. There is dire need of competent, loyal and educated political leadership. Conceited and haughty interests, gluttony agendas, massive corruption, disgruntled judicial system and hypocrite religious pundits should really be dealt with iron hand. Rule of the law and institutional supremacy is more needed at this national crossroad. It takes just two hours to cross the country by air from South to North and just one hour from East to West but the number of movements in this small country is countless. Every person is all times not only ready to protest but is on roads due to one issue or the other. There are a lot of paid protesters and mobs as well. Is there no one in this country to save the whole nation and unite it? Is there anyone? The motherland is calling. The blood of martyred is calling. The dying kids are calling. The destitute but patriot masses are calling. NAP a plethora of words or a ray of hope, I’m still indecisive.

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