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> Monitor on Implementation of National Action Plan to Counter Terrorism
   Volume 2: January March 2017
 
NAP Monitor
July 11, 2017
Lahore

   

Executive Summary

The PILDAT Monitor on Implementation of National Action Plan to Counter Terrorism in Punjab covers the first quarter of 2017. This Monitor uses the assessment of progress on implementation of NAP in the first two years (January 2015-December 2016) as a baseline in order to report progress on NAP implementation during January to March 2017. Since the two periods being compared are uneven (PILDAT's first monitor covered the period January 2015 - December 2016), PILDAT has used per month averages to compare quantifiable data.

This PILDAT Monitor assesses progress of NAP in Punjab in the backdrop of the February 13, 2017 terrorist attack that took place on Charing Cross, Lahore. [1].

 

Table 1: Traffic Light Method of Assessment

1

Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

Green : The implementation process has worked well. Some improvements are needed. (Progress good)

2

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Green-Amber : The implementation process has worked relatively well. Improvements should be made. (Progress satisfactory)

3

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Amber-Red : The implementation process has been relatively poor. Significant improvements should be made. (Progress somewhat unsatisfactory)

4

Circle Sign Green.jpg

Red : The implementation process has been poor overall. Immediate and major changes need to be made. (Progress unsatisfactory)

During this period, national developments that have impacted the progress of NAP in Punjab include the revival of Military Courts and the launch of Operation Radd-ul-Fassad.

 

Box 1: Implementation of NAP in Punjab

Of the 20 NAP points, 15 pertain to Punjab. While PILDAT has sought data from all Provincial Governments, as well as the Federal Government, the Government of Punjab, especially the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (Punjab CTD) deserve accolades and appreciation for upholding requirements of transparency and public access through sharing data not only for the first two years (2015-2016) but also for the first quarter of 2017 covered under this Monitor. While PILDAT awaits data from Federal Government as well as the other 3 Provinces in order to be able to carry out an informed comparative analysis on implementation of NAP across Pakistan, we wish to thank the Government of Punjab as well as the CTD Punjab for sharing performance of Punjab on the National Action Plan to citizens scrutiny and assessment.

Of the 15 points pertaining to the performance of Punjab on the implementation of the National Action Plan, the first quarter of 2017 has recorded substantial progress on the implementation of 7 NAP points in Punjab (NAP Points No. 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, and 15).

Gauged in the backdrop of major terrorist incidents in Punjab, terrorism incidents during this quarter have recorded a 33% decrease depicting improvement. Punjab had witnessed 12 major terrorist attacks during 2015-2016, bringing the average to 1.5 during each quarter compared to one terrorist incidence during the first quarter of 2017.

While 7 out of 15 NAP points have shown upward progress in Punjab's implementation of NAP, the remaining 8 points reflect consistent implementation levels that do not reflect a regression on status of implementation of NAP in Punjab during the first quarter of 2017.

Province of Punjab receives green traffic light on 3 out of 15 NAP points; Green-Amber on 5 NAP points, followed by 5 Amber-Red traffic lights and 2 Red lights projecting an overall positive progress on implementation of NAP during this quarter.

Below is a brief summary of status of implementation of NAP in Punjab during the first quarter spanning January to March 2017:


Table 2: Status of Implementation of NAP in Punjab: January – March 2017

No.

Point

Implementation Status January 2015 – December 2016

Implementation Status
January – March 2017

1

Implementation of death sentences of those convicted of terrorism

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

2

Special courts under the supervision of Army. The duration of these courts would be two years

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

3

Militant outfits and armed gangs will not be allowed to operate in the country

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

4

NACTA, the anti-terrorism institution, will be strengthened.

Federal in Scope - Not Covered in this Monitor

5

Strict action against the literature, newspapers, and magazines promoting hatred, extremism, sectarianism, and intolerance

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

6

Choking financing for terrorist and terrorist organizations

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

7

Ensuring against re-emergence of proscribed organizations

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

8

Establishing and deploying a dedicated counter terrorism force

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

9

Taking effective action against religious persecution

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

10

Registration and regulation of religious seminaries

 

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

11

Ban on glorification of terrorist and terrorist organizations through print and electronic media

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

12

Administrative and development reforms in FATA with immediate focus on repatriation of IDPs.

Federal in Scope - Not Covered in this Monitor

13

Communication network of terrorists will be dismantled completely

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

14

Measures against abuse of social media for terrorism

 

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

15

Zero-tolerance for militancy in Punjab

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

16

Ongoing operation in Karachi will be taken to its logical end.

Not Pertaining to Punjab & Not Covered in this Monitor

17

Balochistan Government to be fully empowered for political reconciliation with complete ownership by all stakeholders.

Not Pertaining to Punjab & Not Covered in this Monitor

18

Dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists

 

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

19

Formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees, beginning with registration of all refugees.

Not Pertaining to Punjab & Not Covered in this Monitor

20

Revamping of the Criminal Justice System

 

Circle Sign Green.jpg
Circle Sign Green.jpg

Status of Implementation of NAP in Punjab: January - March 2017

By using PILDAT's first monitor on implementation of NAP as baseline, this quarterly monitor reports progress on 15 NAP Points relating to Punjab in the quarter January - March 2017. Since the two periods being compared are uneven (PILDAT's first monitor covered the period January 2015 - December 2016), PILDAT has used per month averages to compare quantifiable data.

Below is a summary of status of implementation of the NAP in Punjab during the quarter January - March 2017.

 

NAP Point No. 1: Implementation of death sentences of those convicted of terrorism

In this quarter, approximately 3 terrorists were executed in Punjab for terrorism offences sentenced by Military Courts. [2] Compared to this, the number of executions in Punjab relating to non-terrorism offences sentenced by regular courts was approximately 4. [3] The number of executions of convicted terrorists is low as evidenced by the comparably, albeit only slightly, higher number of executions of individuals convicted in non-terrorism offences.

PILDAT has sought province-specific data from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) that can depict number of cases pending per Province in the Military Courts out of which convictions and executions have been carried out. We have not received the data as of yet.

The Implementation process on Military Courts awarding death sentences to those convicted of terrorism in Punjab has remained relatively poor and consistent with the assessment in the first two years.

Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 2: Special courts under the supervision of Army. The duration of these courts would be two years

Military Courts were initially set up for a period of two years on January 07, 2015 as a 'stop-gap arrangement' to eradicate terrorism due to the issues inherent in the criminal justice system. However, after the expiry of the sun-set clause on January 07, 2017, the Federal Government initiated the process of their revival, and through the Pakistan Army Amendment Act 2017 and the Constitution (Twenty-third Amendment) Act 2017, Military Courts were revived on March 30, 2017 with retroactive effect onwards from January 07, 2017.

Since Military Courts come under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, it would be appropriate to assess their performance on a nationwide scale with data available for each Province.

While we receive an overview of the national picture that 11 Military Courts were set up in Pakistan, a total of 274 cases were referred to them during the first two years. [4] In these cases, Military Courts have awarded death penalty to a total of 161 convicts, life imprisonment to 7 convicts, and sentences of varying duration to 113 convicts.[5] Media reports suggest that during this quarter, the total number of cases before the Military Courts has remained the same, i.e., 274. [6] However, the number of executions sentenced through Military Courts before the launch of Operation Radd-ul-Fassad at 24 has surged after the launch of Operation Radd-ul-Fassad at 11 in 55 days.[7]

There appear to be a number of reasons behind the low number of cases referred to Military Courts. First, most of the cases decided by Military Courts are cases involving those suspected terrorists that the Military has itself apprehended in its various kinetic operations. However, Military Courts are also referred cases pending in Anti-Terrorism Courts.

Taking the example of Punjab, the process of referring these cases to Military Courts involves a number of stages which begins with a committee of the Home Department in which there is representation of the Counter Terrorism Department and the Judge and Advocate Branch General of the Military. This committee recommends cases for Military Courts and, after going through the Provincial Apex Committee, the cases are sent to the Interior Ministry. The Interior Ministry then sends these cases to the Judge and Advocate General Branch of the Military which then decides whether to accept cases or not.

In addition, there are reportedly a number of factors that are taken into consideration while deciding which cases should be referred to Military Courts. For example, old cases in which the suspected terrorist is on bail are not taken up by Military Courts. Moreover, cases that are being satisfactorily proceeded in Anti-Terrorism Courts are not taken up by Military Courts. It was also reported that Military Courts do not take up cases involving counter insurgency and separatist movements since the law governing Military Courts only pertains to religious terrorism.

The low number of cases referred to Military Courts through this procedure can be gauged from the fact that in the past two years, the Punjab Government started off with referring more than 80 cases to the Military Courts while the Military Courts only accepted 4 to entertain. [8] As mentioned previously, there has been no increase in this number during this quarter.

While Military Courts have received a further extension of two years, the rate of conviction and execution continues to be poor. Immediate and major changes need to be made.

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NAP Point No. 3: Militant outfits and armed gangs will not be allowed to operate in the country

The Punjab Safe Cities Authority Act 2016 was identified as an important legislation in the previous monitor, and implementation on this Act has been noteworthy. The Act sets up an Authority comprising the Chief Minister Punjab as its chairman, which shall maintain and develop command, control and communication centres and other related facilities, among other things. [9] This system is aimed at improving policing in Punjab, along with increasing and improving the means of surveillance.[10] Under this authority, surveillance cameras have been set up in Lahore that have enhanced the ability of law enforcing agencies to keep in check suspicious activity. Furthermore, there are plans to extend this system of surveillance to all divisional headquarters.

While pre-empting all terrorist attacks is not possible, the Lahore Charing Cross suicide attack on February 13, 2017 raises some question marks as area remains a highly securitised one while NACTA had on February 7, 2017 issued a threat alert via a notification addressed to the Home Secretary Punjab, the Provincial Police Officer and DG Pak Rangers Punjab. [11]  

According to the Punjab Government, owing to the progress in improving surveillance of Lahore, mastermind behind the Lahore blast was identified within eight hours.

The launch of Operation Radd-ul-Fassad on February 22, 2017 also contributes to this NAP point. Essentially, the objectives of the Operation can be delineated as: [12]

  1. Eliminating any remaining and latent threats of terrorism
  2. Consolidating gains of previous operations
  3. Countrywide de-weaponization and explosive control
  4. Conduct of 'Broad Spectrum Security' by the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) in the province
  5. Greater border security management

The conduct of the Operation will be in the overarching context of successful implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). Following Operation Radd-ul-Fassad, the Government has constituted intelligence committees in which heads of provincial intelligence agencies share intelligence and design Intelligence Based Operations.

In addition, the measurable action taken against militant outfits operating in Punjab by the CTD Punjab reported for the past two years has considerably decreased in this quarter. This shows that proactive action taken by the Punjab Government in the past two years laid the ground work that decreased the need for action in this quarter. A total of 64 arrests were carried out of members of such organisations, which is a decrease of 50 per cent compared to the previous two years (769 to 64). Detentions of such members were 10 (compared to 238 in 2 years), which is a decrease by 15.5 times. Meanwhile, convictions of such members were 18 (169 to 18) while killings in intelligence based operations were 27 (221 to 27), which is a decrease of 17 and two per cent respectively. The rate of conviction at 28 per cent (up from 22%), has witnessed an increase of 6 per cent, which reflects well on the performance of the Punjab Government..

Considerable improvements have been noted in this quarter. The status of implementation has worked well.

Circle Sign Green.jpg to Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

 
 

NAP Point No. 4: NACTA, the anti-terrorism institution, will be strengthened

This point pertains to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and is therefore not covered in this Monitor.

 

NAP Point No. 5: Strict action against the literature, newspapers, and magazines promoting hatred, extremism, sectarianism, and intolerance

While hate speech on electronic media is defined in the Code of Conduct for Media Broadcasters and Cable TV Operators (Schedule A) of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Rules -- 2009 [14], Section 295A of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 more broadly deals with hate speech in these words: ' Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of [the citizens of Pakistan], by words, wither spoken or written, or by visible representation insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.' [15]

In Punjab one outlet was proceeded against on the basis of this point. Meanwhile, the number of accused arrested for hate material was 22, a drop of 27 per cent while convictions were 6, an increase of 23 per cent as compared to the previous two years. Importantly, the conviction rate for this quarter was 27.2 per cent, a marked increase from the conviction rate for past two years that was 17.3 per cent. [16]

The implementation process has remained consistent and requires improvements.

Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 6: Choking financing for terrorist and terrorist organizations

The number of cases registered against terrorist financiers were four (from 95 in 2015-2016), which amounts to a decrease by three times, while the number of people arrested were 9 (125 to 9), which is a decrease of 74 per cent. The number of people convicted for terror financing were 7, which is 2.4 times more than the average of previous two years. [17] Comparing rate of convictions between the two years, the rate in this quarter at 77.8 per cent is markedly higher than the rate during the past two years at 18. 4 per cent.

However, it must be noted that these cases pertain to terrorist financing under the Anti Terrorism Act, which mostly involves collection of charities for the purpose of terrorist financing. This does not include organised banking offences for terrorist financing as that comes under the ambit of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Here, again, while sectarian terrorist organisations have been proceeded against, with their charity boxes or means of collection no longer visibly apparent; however, there is little visible action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Jaish-e-Mohamed. This owes itself to a lack of clarity that the law enforcement agencies require from the State.

The high rate of convictions coupled with a decrease in the number of arrests shows improvement though it requires considerable improvements.

Circle Sign Green.jpg to Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 7: Ensuring against re-emergence of proscribed organizations

No proscribed organisation has re-emerged in this period. In addition, two organisations, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation have been put under watch by the Ministry of Interior on January 27, 2017. [18]

The legal lacunas reported previously largely remain as the Anti Terrorism Act 1997 has not been amended either to criminalise all persons associated with a proscribed organisation or to bar any person associated with a proscribed organisation from creating another organisation. This is closely tied with the Societies Registration Act 1860, since organisations registered under it usually do not have a complete record of its members. Hence, whenever an organisation is proscribed, some unknown members of that organisation are able to register a new organisation with a different name under it.

The Societies Registration Act 1860 has not been strengthened in this period so that Governments are able to maintain a list of all members of the society as well as a database of registered organisations with effective compliance of auditing and reporting. This is where technological solutions can be used to quickly identify members associated with a proscribed organisation and prevent them from forming another organisation.

The non-emergence of a proscribed organisation during this period suggests improvements though this point requires further focus.

Circle Sign Green.jpg to Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 8: Establishing and deploying a dedicated counter terrorism force

Punjab has a dedicated well-functioning CTD with its strength at 5000 personnel.[19]

Moreover, CTD Punjab has thwarted 29 potential terrorist threats with the rate being an increase of 31 per cent. [20]

As the progress achieved on this NAP was already good, no major improvements were required. Moreover, the higher rate of progress is indication that the dedicated CTD is doing its job well. The implementation process has remained well. Some improvements are needed.

Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 9: Taking effective action against religious persecution

Religious persecution can be viewed in a number of ways including overt acts of violence, systematic exclusion of religious minorities from the means of upward mobility, and implicit means of ostracism and psychological abuse. However, this multifaceted approach of viewing religious persecution does not appear to be evident at the official level.

This period saw one reported incident of killing of a person belonging to the Ahmedi community, resulting in 4 arrests with 3 cases under trial. [21]

While the work done against religious persecution socially may continue to fall short of the multi-faceted problems that exists in Pakistan, lack of a major attack on religious minorities during this period is an indication of improvement.

The implementation process has worked relatively well. Improvements should be made.

Circle Sign Green.jpg to Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 10: Registration and regulation of religious seminaries

An additional 34 new Madrassas were geo-tagged in Punjab during this period adding to the previous number of 13,798 Madrassas in Punjab that were geo-tagged during the first two years.

The geo-tagging of all Madrassas involves storing the coordinates of the Madrassa, its pictures, along with information pertaining to number of students (divided into boarders and non-boarders), and name of the person with whom the property is registered, However, while the Government can take fingerprints of a person in the 4th Schedule, the CTD is not legally empowered to take fingerprints of students of teachers of Madrassas.

After carrying out an extensive survey, the Punjab Government, in its database, also made a category of Madrassas from which any of their student or teacher was actively involved in terrorism.

As far as registration of new Madrassas in concerned, the CTD Punjab has the role of granting a Non Objection Certificate (NoC) before the Madrassa can be registered. During this period, the CTD Punjab received a total of 39 applications for granting of NoC out of which it recommended only one for registration.

There is little visible evidence to suggest that there have been any positive strides in the area of uniform curriculum development of Madrassas. As long as the content being taught in Madrassas is not closely scrutinised and problematic themes not corrected, radicalisation will continue to take root in society.

The work on geo-tagging of Madrassas as well as stringent process of NoCs for opening new Madressas in Punjab shows substantial progress achieved on this NAP point. The implementation process has worked relatively well. Improvements should be made.

Circle Sign Green.jpg to Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 11: Ban on glorification of terrorist and terrorist organizations through print and electronic media

It may be noted that regulation of electronic media pertains to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government as Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority is the body tasked to deal with this matter.

As far as action on print media is concerned, there is little data available on instances on glorification of terrorists in Punjab and the resultant action by the Provincial Government.

The implementation process has remained relatively poor on this point.

Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 12: Administrative and development reforms in FATA with immediate focus on repatriation of IDPs

This point pertains to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and therefore not included in this Monitor.

 

NAP Point No. 13: Communication network of terrorists will be dismantled completely

While the major part of this NAP point pertains to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, the Punjab Government has deployed human intelligence over the province as well as carrying out surveillance of Punjab's entry and exit points.

During this period, the CTD Punjab has dismantled the network of Jammat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) in Punjab.

A difficulty that law enforcement agencies are encountering in Punjab at present involves the Investigation for Fair Trial Act, 2013, a Federal law. Under it, the procedure for a law enforcing agency to obtain a warrant for surveillance or interception is cumbersome in which a report has to be presented to the Minister for Interior and only after approval can the application for issuance of warrant be made to a judge. [22] While such procedures are meant to protect against the abuse of power by law enforcing agencies, the procedure may be amended in such a way that it is effective in both empowering law enforcing agencies as well as keeping a check on them.

The implementation process has worked well. Some improvements are needed.

Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 14: Measures against abuse of social media for terrorism

Banned outfits continue to operate on social media with impunity. According to an investigation carried out by Dawn throughout April 2017, 41 banned organisations nationwide have a presence on Facebook in the form of pages, groups, and user profiles. [23]Among them, the biggest presence is of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) with 200 pages and groups, Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) with 160 pages and groups, Sipah-i-Sahaba (SSP) with 148 pages and groups, Baloch Student Organization Azad (BSO-A) with 54 pages and groups, and Sipah-e-Muhammad with 45 pages and groups. [24]

Reportedly, FIA officials lack the expertise to monitor the social media or investigate cases related to it while only it has exclusive jurisdiction to investigate offences related to cyber terrorism. The Federal Government has yet to amend the rules governing the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 to allow the CTD Punjab and Police to investigate cases related to cyber terrorism.

However, despite this impediment, the CTD Punjab has taken action against abuse of social media under the Anti Terrorism Act. The CTD has carried out 20 arrests (34 in 2015-2016 to 20) and 20 cases registered (33 in 2015-2016 to 20) with relation to this NAP Point, which are 4.8 and 4.7 times respectively more than the previous two. The number of convictions at 19 convictions, with rate of convictions being 95 per cent compared to 35 per cent (12 convicted in 34 arrests) in the past two years shows good status of progress. [25]

The implementation process has worked relatively well. Improvements should be made.

Circle Sign Green.jpg to Circle Sign Green.jpg

 

NAP Point No. 15: Zero-tolerance for militancy in Punjab

Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) have been deployed for the operation in the province, although a decision had already been taken in this regard in a meeting of the Apex Committee of the Punjab on February 19, 2017. [26] Reportedly CTD Punjab and Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) have formed operational terms of reference for joint operations in the province and Rangers would work under the command of CTD.[27]

Moreover, data released by the ISPR on the progress of Operation Radd-ul-Fassad in Punjab shows considerable results. Two major operations and a total of 2,692 intelligence based operations were conducted in Punjab. In them, a total of 3,139 persons were apprehended, 1,088 weapons were recovered and 17 terrorists were killed. [28]

Data received from the CTD Punjab showed that during this quarter there were 91 persons arrested (990 in 2015-2016 to 91) and 54 cases registered against persons belonging to terrorist organisations operating in the province, which amounts to a decrease of 36 per cent and 38 per cent respectively. However, the number of convictions, at 21, have registered an increase of 34 per cent from (125 in 2015-2016 to 21).

The gains made under this point indicate that the implementation process has worked well. Some improvements are needed.

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NAP Point No. 16: Ongoing operation in Karachi will be taken to its logical end

This point pertains to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and is therefore not covered in this Monitor.

 

NAP Point No. 17: Balochistan Government to be fully empowered for political reconciliation with complete ownership by all stakeholders

This point pertains to the jurisdiction of the Federal and the Balochistan Government and is therefore not covered in this Monitor.

 

NAP Point No. 18: Dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists

Fourth Schedulers have to now face more stringent requirements under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. By placing an individual in the Fourth Schedule, the Government is able to increase surveillance over them and restrict their means of mobility.

Compared to the actual number of cases registered for offences related to sectarian violence from 2015-2016, this quarter has seen eightfold increase in the number of arrests this quarter in Punjab. To put things in perspective, the number of cases registered for sectarian offences is 1 in this quarter while they were 3 in the past two years. As far as number of arrests are concerned, in this quarter they are 4 while in the past two years they were 2. [29]

The positive strides against sectarian leaders and terrorists taken by the Provincial Government in the past two years suggests that sectarian incidents have remained low and there has been lesser need for action during this quarter.

The implementation process has remained relatively well. Improvements should be made.

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NAP Point No. 19: Formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees, beginning with registration of all refugees

This point pertains to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and is therefore not included in this Monitor.

 

NAP Point No. 20: Revamping of the Criminal Justice System

There are two important stakeholders, the executive and the judiciary, that are involved in the reform of the criminal justice system. However, coordination between them, which is necessary to bring criminal justice reform, is not becoming apparent.

There appears to be consistent confusion at the level of the State regarding the areas of criminal justice reform that fall under the ambit of the Federal Government and the Provincial Government. For instance, despite the abolishment of the concurrent list through the Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment, criminal law and criminal procedure come under the jurisdiction of both the Provincial Assemblies and the Parliament. [30]

There exists a legal view that those legislations which the Federal Government had already enacted pertaining to subjects contained in the concurrent list when it was still in place can only be amended by the Federal Government. This is particularly relevant to the Criminal Procedure Code, which is one such law and the substantive part of which, according to this legal interpretation, can only be amended by the Federal Government.

This particular confusion can also be seen over the matter of proposal of reforms. Both NACTA and the Punjab Government are working on these proposals; however, it remains unclear whether the proposals are intended to cover different areas or the same ones. It would be better if there is a means of coordination between the Federal Government and the Provincial Government over this.

The Anti-Terrorism Act is an important legislation that needs revision in the context of criminal justice reform. Due to the broad-based nature of the Anti Terrorism Act, there are many cases in Anti Terrorism Courts that are not terrorism cases but Anti Terrorism Act provisions have been applied to them for their speedy trial. Hence, it is no surprise that out of a total of 15 Anti-Terrorism Courts in place in Punjab, there are roughly 609 cases pending before these, some of them for about four years. [31] According to CTD Punjab, pure terrorism cases are only a fraction of the cases being heard by Anti Terrorism Courts.

However, there is some positive development at the level of implementation in the form of the Punjab Forensic Science Agency. The Agency has brought modern examination of evidence for both the prosecution and police, helping out in the investigation of 81 criminal activities including identification of suspects and breaking their networks.

Progress on this NAP Point is crucial to achieving a long-term solution to the problem of terrorism in Pakistan. Unfortunately nothing tangible has been achieved and the revival of Military Courts at the Federal level is a reflection of the casual attitude of both the Government and the Parliament towards the very important issue of reform of the criminal justice system.

Little progress has been witnessed on the status of implementation of this NAP point and it has remained poor overall. Immediate and major changes need to be made.

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Recommendations

1.     The Federal Government must provide clarity over the rationale behind the current process of referring cases from Anti-Terrorism Courts to Military Courts in which the Judge and Advocate General Brach of the Military finally decides whether to accept cases or not even though its representative is present in the initial committee of the Home Department. The Federal Government also requires to make concrete guidelines on the type of cases that should be referred to Military Courts, in addition to making available province-specific data on number of cases referred to Military Courts by each Province and actions taken.

2.    The Societies Registration Act 1860 needs to be strengthened so that the Provincial Government can maintain a list of all members of the society as well as a database of registered organisations with effective compliance of auditing and reporting. This is where technological solutions can be used to quickly identify members associated with a proscribed organisation and prevent them from forming another organisation

3.    In the Federal Investigation for Fair Trial Act, 2013, the procedure to obtain a warrant for surveillance or interception may be amended in such a way that it is effective in both empowering law enforcing agencies to monitor suspected terrorists as well as keep a check on them to prevent abuse of power.

4.    The Executive and the Judiciary as well as the Federal and Provincial Governments need to develop an institutional mechanism through which they can coordinate their activities vis-à-vis criminal justice system reform.


References

[1] 'Senior police officers among 13 killed as suicide bomber strikes Lahore,' Dawn, updated February 16, 2017, can be accessed at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1314549

[2] Data shared by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which can be accessed at: http://hrcp-web.org/hrcpweb/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/execution2017-1.pdf

[3] ibid.

[4] 'The sun has set on Pakistan's military courts - here's why it should never rise again,' Updated March 06, 2017, can be accessed at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1306792

[5] ibid.

[6] The data reflects progress as of April 17, 2017, as revealed through an ISPR press release that can be accessed at: https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=3928&cat=army

[7] ibid.

[8] Data received from CTD Punjab

[9] ibid.

[10] News Report can be accessed at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1193062

[11] 'Senior police officers among 13 killed as suicide bomber strikes Lahore,' Dawn, updated February 16, 2017, can be accessed at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1314549/senior-police-officers-among-10-killed-as-suicide-bomber-strikes-lahore

[12] As for the targets of Operation Radd-ul-Fassad, a Press Release issued by the ISPR on February 22, 2017 stated that ' Operation aims at indiscriminately eliminating residual/latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made thus far and further ensuring security of the borders… Countrywide de-weaponization and explosive control are additional cardinals of the effort. Pursuance of National Action Plan will be the hallmark of this operation '

The complete text of the press release can be accessed at: https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&cat=army&date=2017/2/22

[13] As per data obtained from CTD Punjab

[14] The rules were replaced via notification of Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage dated August 19, 2015 under the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Act 2007. The notification can be accessed at: http://www.pemra.gov.pk/pemra/pemgov/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Code_of_Conduct.pdf

[15] The Pakistan Penal Code 1860 can be accessed at: http://pakistancode.gov.pk/english/UY2FqaJw1-apaUY2Fqa-apk%3D-sg-jjjjjjjjjjjjj

[16] As per data obtained from CTD Punjab

[17] As per data obtained from CTD Punjab

[18] List of proscribed organisations can be accessed at: http://nacta.gov.pk/Downloads/BannedOrganization(Eng).pdf

[19] As per data obtained from CTD Punjab

[20] ibid.

[21] The incident took place on March 30, 2017. Details can be accessed in the news report, 'Ahmadiyya community leader killed in gun attack,' Express Tribune, March 30, 2017, at: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1369395/ahmadi-leader-gunned-near-lahore/

[22] Investigation for Fair Trial Act 2013 can be accessed at: http://pakistancode.gov.pk/english/UY2FqaJw1-apaUY2Fqa-apaUY2FqbZw%3D-sg-jjjjjjjjjjjjj

[23] 'Banned outfits in Pakistan operate openly on Facebook,' Dawn, updated on June 05, 2017, can be accessed at: https://www.dawn.com/news/1335561/banned-outfits-in-pakistan-operate-openly-on-facebook

[24] ibid.

[26] For details, please see a series of tweets issued by the Govt. of the Punjab on the date, which can be accessed at: https://twitter.com/GovtOfPunjab/status/833316557094846465?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

[27] 'Rangers, CTD chalk out plan for joint combing,' Dawn, February 25, 2017, can be accessed at: http://epaper.dawn.com/DetailImage.php?StoryImage=25_02_2017_002_001

[28] Details can be found in the ISPR Press Release, dated April 17, 2017, at: https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=3928&cat=army

[29] As per data received from CTD Punjab

[30] Article 142(b) of the Constitution states: 'Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and a Provincial Assembly shall have power to make laws with respect to criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence.' Full text can be accessed at: http://pakistancode.gov.pk/english/UY2FqaJw1-apaUY2Fqa-apaUY2Fvbpw%3D-sg-jjjjjjjjjjjjj

[31] 'ATCs fail to follow timeline,' The Nation, March 24, 2017, can be accessed at: http://nation.com.pk/newspaper-picks/24-Mar-2017/atcs-fail-to-follow-timeline