27TH DECEMBER, 2014
A. ALTAF HUSSAIN’S FIVE (5) POINTS:
1- “I have no greater responsibility than protecting the Pakistani people and promoting world peace”.
2- “We as a Nation have to protect Pakistan from any external military or unlawful paramilitary and terrorist attacks”.
3- “We have to preserve the political identity, framework and institutions of Pakistan”.
4- “Defending our Nation against its internal and external enemies is the first and fundamental commitment of MQM”.
5- “And for the above difficult choices are to be made”.
1- MQM was the first political party, which under the able captaincy of its Founder and Leader, Mr. Altaf Hussain, has advocated a National Counter Terrorism Policy (NCTP).
2- We wish to reiterate that Mr. Hussain was the first, both nationally and transnationally, to identify the looming menace of terrorism and existence of terrorist outfits in Pakistan, as back as 2004 (for Pakistan generally) and 2008 (for Karachi, in particular).
3- Ownership and realization of the people of Pakistan should be that the present fight against terrorism is Pakistan’s own war meant for its survival.
NOTE: The All Parties Conferences (APCs) of 18th December and 24th December, 2014 held in the aftermath of the tragic Peshawar Army Public School incident of 16th December, 2014, for the first time resounded what Mr. Hussain has been stating for more than a decade.
4- A necessary concomitant of any Counter Terrorism Strategy requires to evolve, establish and elevate effective local governments, community policing and neighborhood watch and ward.
5- We need to make the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NCTA), established under the NCTA Act, 2013 in March, 2013, effective, functional and permanent.
6- A Parliamentary Committee should act as a Council to oversee the functioning of NCTA.
7- A well-integrated, both horizontally and vertically, co-ordination amongst the Federal and Provincial agencies with regular information sharing is most important.
8- Rapid Response Forces at the Federal, Provincial and District levels, should be established at the earliest.
9- Forensic facilities with biometric system, laboratories, tissue and DNA matching etc. to be provided at all levels of engagement i.e. Federal, Provincial and District.
10- Judges, Courts and witness protection programs to be devised as early as possible.
11- Socio-economic and development programs and civil authorities should be ready to immediately take over after military operation.
12- Programs for the de-radicalization of the society should be prescribed.
13- Disaster Management in the wake of a terrorist attack should become effective for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the affectees.
14- A Regional Forum of relevant countries to be established to specifically counter terrorism in the region.
15- Dialogues with only those who lay down arms and recognize the state of Pakistan and its writ to be undertaken.
16- Unfortunately early pointers by MQM for a National Counter Terrorism Policy were not considered or implemented. Only part or piece-meal action has been taken.
17- MQM reiterates that if its Counter Terrorism Policy had been implemented in its entirety, we may have averted the despicable, dastardly and tragic act of barbarism of 16th December, 2014 at the Peshawar Army Public School.
18- Zarb-e-Azb was much awaited but we say with a very heavy heart that such a vigorous response was inordinately delayed by the political leadership of the country. In contradiction, unconditional dialogue with the perpetrators was preferred without realizing that any dialogue should only have been pursued after the perpetrators would have laid down arms and recognized our law, Constitution, the writ and state of Pakistan.
19- MQM recounts that a Counter Terrorism Strategy as a tool to a National Security Policy should be all encompassing and every element of such strategy should be adopted in totality. We should not take one step and forget about the others.
20- Recently, the establishment of Military Courts is being mooted to be the all and the end all. MQM has very reluctantly accepted to the establishment of such Courts, provided necessary amendments are first made in the Constitution and Law and secondly, these Courts are temporary and couched through a sunset clause in the Constitution.
21- Most importantly, the Military Courts should only be restricted against those who are part of legally proscribed organizations. The mechanism should not be an instrument to be employed against political parties and their members.
22- There should be no piece-meal implementation of a Counter Terrorism Policy. A holistic approach should be adopted, where all the elements of the Policy should be followed and applied collaterally.
23- Establishment of Military Courts is only a very short term solution. If a permanent and long term result or resolution is to be achieved then the third tier of local government, entrenched though article 140-A of the Constitution, is required to be instilled and made effective, where community policing and neighborhood watch and ward should become rampant and the order of the day. The Community Police and neighborhood watch and ward are pivotal to the supplication of human intelligence. After the lamentable 9/11 incident, the inevitable role and requirement of human intelligence became the hallmark of an effective Counter Terrorism Strategy.
24- Investigation methods should be devised to keep up with changing times. Surveillance and intercepts and latest technological equipment should be employed.
25- Amendments are to be made in the Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order, 1984 so as to meet the technological advances.
26- Independent prosecution service should be established at the Federal and Provincial levels.
27- Police, prosecution and Judicial reforms should be brought so as to meet the changing times.
28- Those supporting the terrorist outfits and their members, in any manner should be dealt with an iron-hand.
29- Those financing, funding or harboring any terrorist organization or its members in any manner to be dealt strictly and amendments in procedural and substantive Laws to be introduced in this regard.
30- Experimentation be made through establishment of face-less Courts to deal with the new situation.
31- A special Task Force to be established which should deal with the fallout of any military operation.
32- The entire country is to be deweaponizated.
33- There should be checks on Madarssas and Jehadi literature and Khutbas.