Review: New Anti Terrorism Policy of Pakistan
August 14, 2013 Leave a comment
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 (AFP, AP, BBC, Dawn, ET, 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 (Dawn, ET). 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).