August 30; Punjab has improved
performance on the implementation of National Action Plan during second quarter
of 2017 compared to performance in the previous quarter. This was shared by
PILDAT in its third Monitor on Implementation of National Action Plan
to Counter Terrorism in Punjab .
The third Monitor on Implementation
of National Action Plan to Counter Terrorism covering the period of April-June
2017 was released at a public forum that was addressed by Lt. Gen. (Retd.)
Moinuddin Haider, Former Governor Sindh; Former Federal Minister for
Interior, Mr. Shahid Hamid, Senior Advocate, Supreme
Court of Pakistan; Former Governor Punjab, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Noel Israel
Khokhar, Executive Dean, Forman Christian College, Lahore; Former DG
ISSRA, Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami, Editor-in-Chief, Daily Pakistan,
Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT and Ms. Marva
Khan, Assistant Professor, LUMS.
Prominent among Punjab MPAs
who joined the Forum were Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed, Opposition
Leader in the Punjab Assembly (PTI), Mr. Waheed Gul, (PML-N),Ms.
Saadia Sohail Rana (PTI),Dr. Murad Raas, (PTI), and
Ms. Bushra Butt (PML-N).
Speaking at the occasion, Mian
Mehmood ur Rasheed, MPA said that while terrorism has indeed decreased
in the country, we need to make consistent vigilant efforts to eliminate its
roots. He believed that while NAP has addressed short term issues of terrorism,
long-term measures taken to counter extremism have yet to become evident. He
also suggested that at the national level, leadership of political parties should
hold quarterly meetings to review nationwide implementation of National Action
Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Moinuddin
Haider was of the view that decrease in terrorist attacks indicates
success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Operation Radd-ul-Fassad. He emphasised
the need for coordination in the district, provincial and national levels among
law enforcement bodies for effective counter terrorism measures. He also believed
that people have the best information and they should be encouraged to play
their role in keeping check on their surroundings so that the police and law
enforcement agencies have the support and assistance of the people.
Mr. Shahid Hamid
was of the view that the most prominent success with respect to the implementation
of National Action Plan in Punjab is the effectiveness of a dedicated counter
terrorism force. Since, according to him, pre-emptive action is the most suitable
metric for evaluation of the effective of counter terrorism operations, the
51 potential terrorists threats aborted by the CTD Punjab shows the efficacy
of the organisation. Mr. Hamid also highlighted the broad nature of the Anti
Terrorism Act and called for its revision. He suggested that the process should
be made transparent. He was also of the opinion that a pertinent question that
should be asked by the Federal and Provincial Governments is the cost of implementation
of National Action Plan for the past three years.
Mr. Mujib ur Rahman
Shami believed that timelines for handling cases provided in law are
not given any importance by the Courts. He suggested that relevant laws should
have such provisions that those judges who do not adhere to timelines provided
in laws are penalised.
Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Noel
Israel Khokhar said that trial of civilians suspected of terrorism
by Military Courts has been made a responsibility for the Army while it is primarily
the domain of the judiciary. He believed that criminal justice system reforms
are urgently required so that this burden can be shifted from the Army back
to the judiciary.
Ms. Marva Khan
opined that certain NAP Points are in conflict with fundamental rights enshrined
in the Constitution. This requires for a more nuanced understanding of the work
that needs to be done to counter terrorism in Pakistan.
Earlier while discussing implementation
of National Action Plan, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob said that
the overall general trajectory of the status of implementation of NAP in this
quarter has been slightly upward. Of the 15 NAP Points pertaining to the performance
of Punjab on the implementation of the National Action, 2 NAP Points (NAP Point
5, which relates to action against hate literature, and 7, which relates to
preventing re-emergence of proscribed organisations) have shown upward progress
in Punjab's implementation of NAP while 1 NAP Point (NAP Point 14, which relates
to action against abuse of social media) has shown a regression in status of
implementation. However it must be noted that NAP Point 14 mostly comes under
the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. PILDAT has not given assessment
of status of implementation of 2 NAP Points (NAP Point 1, which calls for implementation
of death sentences of terrorism convicts, and 2, which calls for the constitution
of Military Courts) due to insufficient data. The remaining 10 Points reflect
consistent implementation levels that do not reflect a regression on status
of implementation of NAP in Punjab during second quarter of 2017.
Province of Punjab received
Green traffic light (progress satisfactory) on 3 out of 15 NAP points; Green-Amber
(progress somewhat satisfactory) on 6 NAP points, followed by 3 Amber-Red traffic
lights (progress somewhat unsatisfactory) and 1 Red light (progress unsatisfactory)
projecting an overall upward progress on implementation of NAP during this quarter.
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 appreciation for upholding requirements of transparency and
public access through sharing data not only for the first two years (2015-2016)
and the first quarter of 2017 but also the second quarter of 2017 covered
under this Monitor. PILDAT has recently received data from the Government
of Sindh for the first quarter of 2017 and the past two years while the
Government of Balochistan has also committed to providing data.
English Monitor on Implementation of National
Action Plan to Counter Terrorism in Punjab can be accessed here .
Urdu Monitor on Implementation
of National Action Plan to Counter Terrorism in Punjab can be accessed here .