Review: New Anti Terrorism Policy of Pakistan

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry delivered an ambitious draft  counterterrorism policy to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday that seeks to  dismantle all terrorist outfits and networks in Pakistan through  counterinsurgency and intelligence efforts, as well as reforms to the police  and judiciary (ET).  According to Pakistan’s Express Tribune, which received a copy of the draft, the National  Counter Terrorism and Extremism Policy 2013 is focused on dismantling,  containing, and preventing terrorism, reforming the country’s education system,  and reintegrating low-level militant foot soldiers.  The new policy also integrates military  action and civilian follow-up, emphasizing the need for greater development and  economic support in areas affected by terrorism.  Interestingly, the draft policy also calls  for a “serious revisit” of Pakistan’s existing foreign policy, a likely  reference to the country’s relationship with the United States.

  After being briefed on the draft policy by Interior Minister  Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Interior Secretary Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Prime  Minister Nawaz Sharif told reporters that terrorism was a national problem and  that concerted efforts were required to combat it (Dawn).  In addition to the policy, Pakistan’s first  national security policy in 13 years, Sharif is considering creating a  national anti-terrorism force.

  India and Pakistan continued to trade accusations on Tuesday  of cross-border attacks over the Line of Control in Kashmir, extending more  than a week of increasing tensions between the two countries (AFPAPBBC, DawnET,  Reuters, NYT).  An Indian army commander  said that Pakistani troops had fired shots at border posts in the Mendhar  section of Kashmir intermittently on Monday night, while a Pakistani military  official claimed Indian troops had fired on Pakistani military posts first and  they were just responding.  No casualties  were reported on either side.

  Responding to the continued firings, Ban Ki-Moon, the  Secretary General of the U.N., offered to be an arbitrator between India and  Pakistan in an interview on Tuesday (Dawn).  He said that he expects “the Indian and  Pakistani leadership to continue their dialogue, to create some  confidence-building measures,” but added that U.N. military observers are  working to prevent a possible war between the two nuclear-armed neighbors over  the disputed territory.

  The outlawed Punjabi Taliban, an offshoot on the Pakistani  Taliban, distributed a pamphlet in southern Punjab and North and South  Waziristan on Monday that said the militant group would consider itself at war  with the Pakistani government if it follows through with a plan to execute four  prisoners currently on death row (DawnET).  Last Thursday, Nusrat Mangan, the Inspector General of Sindh prisons, said that  four convicts, including two members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant  organization, would be executed on August 20, 21, and 22 – the first executions  of civilian prisoners in five years (Dawn).

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