MQM’s Policy Brief on National Counter
Terrorism Policy (NCTP):
PREAMBLE AND THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF TERRORISM:
is confronted with twin menace of terrorism and the fast deteriorating law and
order situation since Soviets attacked Afghanistan on the Christmas Eve of
the instigation and the support of the US Government the Afghan clergy and
especially Pakistan under Zia-ul-Haque entered the war arena. That was the
beginning of national disaster that goes unabated with the defeat of Soviet
Russia and departure of USA from the scene. On the attack on twin towers on 11th September
2001 by the jihadi-Talibans and Al Qaeda, America mobilized the whole world in
its favor and thus Pakistan also joined the WAR ON TERROR. (WOT). Hence it may
be said.“ Ziaul Haque sowed the wind and we are reaping the
is vociferously condemned by all successive governments since 9/11 but cohesive
and sustained counter measures were scarcely taken. The fatal terrorist attacks
have risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, while between
September 2001 and May 2011 35000 Pakistanis were killed. It is
reported that by June 2013 about 43000 people lost their
precious lives. Media access is heavily restricted in the most disturbed areas.
There is only fitful releases of information by the Government agencies and the
media reportage. The actual figures could be much more.
reason for a Spiral and an alarming rise in the acts of Terrorism during the
last 10 years are:
i) The absence of a
People owned and a People backed National Counter Terrorism Policy
(NCTP) in Pakistan i.e. lack of People’s OWNERSHIP into COUNTER
ii) The confusion amongst the Policy
makers, the Executors and the Politicians in Pakistan that whether the WAR
against the Menace of Terrorism was just an anybody else’s war and Pakistan was
dragged into it out of a doctrine of necessity OR this WAR was always our OWN WAR and that TERRORISM is the biggest enemy of
iii) Another confusion amongst the Policy maker, the Executers
& the Political Fraternity is that whether Pakistan is an ultra radical
theocratic state or a moderate & enlightened state of Qauid-e-Azam Mohammad
THE CURRENT TRAUMATIC SITUATION OF TERRORISM AND
A PATHETIC RESPONSE TO COUNTER IT.
events are taking place in a fast succession that have baffled the concerned
authorities and the law enforcing agencies. Before the debris around the
Intelligence Offices of Sukkur could be removed, the blast at Parachunar took a
toll of sixty five persons excluding the injured ones. The
former was against the Agencies, while the later was blatantly sectarian in
character. On the heels of Parachunar came the raid on the Central Jail Dera
Ismael Khan where more than 243 prisoners belonging to
the banned outfits- Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jahngvi were
released and taken away by the terrorists. A gruesome incident took place
when 13 labourers who were going to Punjab in buses were
picked and brutally murdered Immediately, thereafter a
bomb killed 8 football fans at Lyrai, Karachi. The worst happened
when a suicide bomber attacked during the funeral of a Station House Officer,
as a result of which 38 police personnel including a DIG,
DSP and more than13 police inspectors were killed at
Quetta. The suicidal attacks and bomb blasts on mosques, imam bargahs,
schools, markets, busses carrying nurses to hospital or the devotees to visit
religious shrines go undeterred. It seems that the terrorists are
well-organized, better trained, well-equipped with latest weapons, having a
planned strategy, motivated (ideologically or by replicating the tactics
adopted byHassan Bin Sabbah of Qila Alamout), an intelligence wing and
above all platoons of suicide bombers.
fight such terrorists by the forces or other law enforcing agencies on ad hoc
basis with no unity of command, lacking coordination, dedication and above all
the will to liquidate a disciplined band of marauders, is a frustrating
exercise. Demoralized, beleaguered, ill-trained and ill-equipped police is
another dilemma. This state of affairs of the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs)
render them further helpless to combat the ever rising incidents of TERRORISM.
DEFINITION OF TERRORISM AND
terrorism is defined as violence against civilians or a government to achieve political,
or religious objectives by creating fear, terror, and perpetrated for an
assumed ideological goal. Universally terrorism comes to mean warfare of the
weak against strong [government] but in case of Pakistan it is just the
reverse. The act of vandalism is led by the strong (terrorist) against the weak
DETERIORATING LAW & ORDER AND
SOCIO-ECONOMIC WOES FUEL TERRORISM:
deteriorating law and order situation riffed with rise in all kinds of crimes
all over Pakistan is not the end result of terrorism, rather is caused by a
weak or apathetic government or because of the poorest of the poor governance.
there are extraneous causes- mass unemployment, load-shedding, hyper inflation,
non-accessibility to heath and educational facilities to the teeming millions
and the rising disparity between the rich and the poor are some of the
important causes that are fueling terrorism.
WHAT IS THE REMEDY -- ?
A MULTI PRONGED STRATEGY OR SOMETHING ELSE.
reverse the trend by controlling the acts of terrorists, to curb the rising
trend of crime and to address the socio-economic issues, a multi-pronged strategy needs
to be devised by the Political & Policy Institutions of
Pakistan that boasts to strengthen and sustain the PARTICIPATORYDEMOCRACY.
more serious warning came from the Army Chief of Pakistan, when on
March 7, 2013 he conveyed the Army’s concern to the President Asif Ali Zardari
in the following words, “the real dangers for Pakistan comes from within and
not without” a policy statement, certainly provides a window of an
opportunity to address the Civil-Military Relationship aspect
of framing a Policy on Countering Terrorism in Pakistan.
comprehensive National Counter Terrorism Policy (NCTP) / Strategy under
the umbrella of a wider National Security Policy, has thus become
incumbent and the need of the hour.
Mr. Ataf Hussain (Founder and Leader of MQM) has long sought
Legislation and Creation of Institutions to deal
with Terrorism in all
shapes, forms and manifestations.
a NCTP has got to be evolved by All Political Parties jointly
as a single item National Agendato save this Titanic from
sinking. The Strategy has got to be Multi-Pronged to
deal with the different factors that have lead to the present day scenario.
it is mandatory that a Round Table Conference (RTC) of
all political parties and all stake holders be convened by the Prime Minister
of Pakistan. It needs to be attended by the Chiefs of ISI, MI, IB; Chiefs of
Army (including Joint Chief of Staff), Navy and Air force as observers. The
Conference, instead of being a photo-session, needs to evolve a pragmatic
national strategy, to control the menace of terrorism, conventional crime,
economic meltdown and social unrest.
COMPONENTS OF MQM’s POLICY BRIEF:
COMPONENT _____ ROLE OF THE POLITICAL AND THE EXECUTIVE ARM: The existing
Federal Authority viz; NCTA (National Counter Terrorism Authority) be
made functional and effective. In this regard Models of Counter Terrorism,
Policies, Authorities & Statutes of some countries like Sri
Lanka ( 1983 to 2009), Malaysia( 1948-1960), Philippines( 1899-1902) , UK(
Political and Negotiated Settlement of the Northern Ireland in 1998), El
Salvador (1980-1992) Guatemala (1963-1993), Models of Conflict
Resolution and Vietnam (1959—1972), Algeria (1954-1962) etc and
additionally, the Models of Operations in Columbia
1963- Present ) and Iraq ( 2005-Prsent ) also offer current real time Counter
Insurgency measures that are having significant positive effects
be also studied and suitable points be adopted into Principles
of our Policy, Authority Structures & Statutes like the National
Counter Terrorism Authority Act-2013 (NCTAA-2013).
Parliamentary Committee on National Security be given a permanent role to KEEP AN OVERSIGHT of the NCTA and
act as a FEDERAL COUNCIL, in
EVALUATING AND IMPLEMENTING the National Policy on Counter Terrorism.
b) Lending its own input, formulating,
improving etc the BROAD OUTLINES OF
THE POLICY on Counter Terrorism.
c) Making PERIODICAL ASSESSMENTS on the realization of the
Goals set out in the Policy & identify flaws & weaknesses in
it and its implementation & suggest ways and means to rectify
d) Quarterly meeting with similar
Provincial Councils / Standing Committees of the respective Provincial
Assemblies (PAs) on Counter Terrorism to ensure Interprovincial as
well as Federal-Provincial Coordination in the effective implementation
of NCTP. Only an INTEGRATED STRATEGY can ensure
e) Do oversight & review the
performance of the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to ensure fine
Coordination and alignment between the Policy Level & the Implementation
level to give effect to the NCTP. Thus the Emphasis is again on an INTEGRATED
Councils (Federal as well as all four Provinces) need to be staffed by
qualified personnel, with a strong Intelligence Wing to
monitor and evaluate the progress.
IV- All the Provincial
Councils should be independent and perform the same functions as the Federal
Council or the Standing Committee on SECURITY
AFFAIRS, do at Federal level.
four independent PCTAs (Provincial Counter Terrorism Authorities) also
need to be established through legislation by the four provincial assemblies.
the NCTA and PCTAs need to be ensured by the
Prime Minister who should hold joint meetings of NCTA & PCTAs once a month
to review the progress and take further action as warranted.
VII- All PCTAs to have
their own Dedicated and ANTI TERRORISM SPECIFIC, RAPID RESPONSE FORCE (RRF ) & INTELLIGENCE
WING. Thus entirely a separate FORCE is needed to combat terrorism
by recruiting qualified officers and personnel in such a force. The regular
Police should be left to carry out the routineANTI-CRIME
AND ANTI-VIOLENCE duties as normal. The Police Reforms however
will enable the Regular Police also to support the COMBATANT RRF to fight
VIII- The RRF has
to be supplemented through creating a LOCAL COMMUNITY POLICE andNEIGHBORHOOD WATCH AND WARD SYSTEM under AN EMPOWERED LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
XI. Successful Counter
Terrorism or Counter Insurgencies Measures needs
to deny the Terrorist and the Insurgents Operating Space.
This includes logistic and money supply lines as well as territory to operate
from. Similarly the Law Enforcement system also needs to purge elements from
its Ranks, who support Terrorists and Terrorism.
COMPONENT OF THE NCTP_____ JUDICIAL & ADMINISTRATION MEASURES:
addition, the Federal and Provincial Legislatures to Legislate the INSTITUTION of suchAnti-Terrorist
Tribunals/Courts which shall act as the JUDICIAL Component of the NCTP. The Tribunals or Courts
would not be able to function unless strong teams of Prosecutors are
attached to these Tribunals and the Courts. Public punishment to hardened
criminals may be considered.
management and control of prisons/jails needs to be revolutionized. If the
hardened criminals and terrorists, after having been punished, are ensconced in
such jails which are vulnerable to terrorists attack whereby the condemned
prisoners are released by their follow criminals, it becomes a case of love,
labour lost. Jails from populated area in cities be shifted to the
III) Improvement of Criminal
System of Justice – Legislation by the Federal & Provincial
Legislatures to give effect to laws as are needed for the PROTECTION OF WITNESSES AND JUDGES.
IV) Use of Technology
and Science of Criminology is very important, to impart, on Regular
Basis the advancements in these fields to the COMBATANT Anti Terrorist Forces. To do this SPECIAL INSTITUTES are required to
be established to impart MODERN
TRAINING TO OUR OFFICERS.
of a network of FORENSIC LABS to
begin with, in Islamabad and in all four Provincial Capitals is also absolutely
must to enable the use of MODERN
FORENSIC SCIENCE in exposing the alleged suspects in acts of
VI) NADRA should
establish a DATA BANK OF THE
BIO-MATRICS of Terrorists, Criminals, Suspects allegedly
involved and arrested so that the Forensic Experts can use them as and when
needed. Thus NADRA is needed to be made effective and equipped with
sophisticated Hard and Software System.
the average age of most of the suicide bombers has been even less than 18 years
a compulsory Biometric Record of the PUPILS between the age of 16
and 18 in colleges, schools and madrassas be maintained.
cooperation and coordination is also very important. Sharing of
Security and Intelligence information by Counter Terrorism Agencies
all over the world should be an essential tool for the effective Eradication
of Terrorism from Pakistan.
case of Military Operations, the security forces would clear an area
from the terrorists, but, what about its Sustainability; the
ultimate holding by the Political and Civil Administration. The
examples are there in the cases of SWAT and SOUTH
WAZIRISTAN AGENCY (SWA). Thus theCivilian and Political
Administration also have to be strengthened to be able to Shoulder
its Responsibility as and when it is called upon to do so.
COMPONENT______ SUSTAINABLE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELEOMENT AND PROCESS OF
reforms have got to be undertaken. The meltdown of economy be arrested
Industrialization to be boosted, inter alia, to liquidate
unemployment and to increase the GDP. The Education Policy needs
to be reviewed. A unitary syllabi of all the institutions, without any
discrimination be introduced as it is the only way to accelerate and sustain
the growth all over the provinces. Madrasah Reforms has
to be an integral part of the Education and Policy. Medium of instruction may
be English or Urdu, but it shall be a mono syllabi. Again the Health
Facilities have got be extended to all and sundry Human
Resourceis our biggest asset. Our Socio- Economic Reforms
Agenda must assign a TOP PRIORITY toHUMAN RESOURCE
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS in Pakistan .Drastic Measures are needed to
address the socio-economic issues without which a Welfare State cannot
of devolution must continue, till it reaches its conclusion. This is high time
that Local Governments be made more EFFECTIVE and AUTONOMOUS, so
that they secure theOWNERSHIP of
the CITIZENS & COMMUNITIES from STREETS, LANES andNEIGHBORHOODS of Pakistan into the
Process of ERADICATION OF
lending ownership to the people, Pakistan cannot be rid of this MENACE.
COMPONENT _____ DE-RADICALIZATION OF PAKISTAN: De-radicalization
of Society, by Curbing Religious Extremism through Conscious
Policy andProactive Efforts is pivotally
essential to prevent rising trends of Terrorism in Pakistani
can be distinguished as a tool that supports broader counter-terrorism and
counter radicalization strategy. The country is infested not only by those who
crossed border after the departure of Soviet Union but by uneducated,
non-privileged completely deprived and isolated people living in FATA and in
the tribal districts of North and South Waziristan and so on,
urge to fight infields after the defeat of Communists, the Talibans and Jehadis
have been emboldened to fight the Pakistanis also whom they consider as anti-
Islam or as Westernized citizens. Radicalism has been increasing because of
is Inequalities of Income and
opportunity the Social Disparities like the hold
of Feudral lords and the Feudelisim and the
seminary ill-educated clergy over the poverty ridden people and the Overcentralization of
the State Apparatus, that generate Radicalism. The
frusted and fanatics consider that they can convert the people to Islamic ways
of their own imagination by gun.
to combat terrorism, deradicalization as policy tool has got be
adopted. This may include reforms in electoral system, Liberalized education
system by innovative syllabi, grass root democracy. Reduction of disparity in
income and living standards. Quality training facilities for the unemployed and
last but not the least to introduce monitoring and evaluation of the
wide-spread uncontrolled Madaris atleast some of which have become nurseries
for the bomblasters and suicide bkombers.
success of Saudi Strategy is composed of prevention, rehabilitation and aftercare
programs, the consular DEBRIEFING of the IMPLICATED SUSPECTS AND INCRIMINATED
TERRORISTS is a key part of this strategy. Increasingly using conventional and
soft measures to combat violent extremists has bore some very positive results.
Pakistan may emulate such measure to fight radicalism.
COMPONENT ____ THE FOREIGN POLICY TO BE COMPATIBLE TO FIGHT TERRORISM : Besides direct Counter
Terrorism measures and socio-economic strategies we must also think
seriously to review OUR FOREIGN
is neither USA, nor UK, nor any European country or even China that can come to
our rescue in combating terrorism. The next big challenge is year 2014, when
the EXIT PLAN of the American and International Troops
from Afghanistan begins. It is the Region that will have to Respond and Act,
Unitedly and Jointly to give OWNERSHIP to the Fight and
the Process of Eradication of the Terrorism from the Region and Serve our
Mutual Interest and Advantage. The Regional Countries like India, Afghanistan,
Iran and Pakistan will have to join hands to tackle this widerpread
menace. Such cooperation may include measures in the arena of Intelligence
Sharing, Economics, Education, Health, Environment, Politics and Counter
Terrorism Operations. Regional cooperation is the key to the
resolution of all the problems emanating from radicalism and terrorism.
COMPONENT ______ STUDY & RESEARCH ON TERRORISTS GROUPS: A multi-pronged
strategy to combat terrorism would be a futile exercise, if a detailed study
and research is not made as what factions of terrorists are involved in
terrorism. A single recipe for different terrorists’ factions will not resolve
the issue. It is difficult to identify all the groups of terrorists and their
targeted objectives. But it is certain that their target is Government and
Governmental Agencies, including law enforcing agencies and the opposite
secretarian factions, mostly the members of Shia Community, Ofcourse the
ordinary Pakistanis are also facing the WRATH of these RUTHLESS AND CRUEL
TERRORISTS. Baluchistan Insurgency waged be separatist there, be dealt with
differently for the TERRORISM perpetrated by Religious, Extremists, Fanatics
and terrorists. But by and large all factions are using most violent tactics to
disturb and destroy the peace of the country Government has got to identify
such groups and deal with them as situation demands.
VII. SEVENTH COMPONENT _ Disaster
Rehabilitation and Management
Rehabilitation and Management Cells have got to be reorganized by each province
and each District. If rescue operations are undertaken promptly, lot of lives
could be saved by their presence and efficiency.
COMPONENT. ____DIALOGUE AND THE PROCESS OF NEGOCIATED SETTLEMENT.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP ) is the main terrorist network operating
against the state of Pakistan and its people. Strong desire is present among
the ruling circle both at federal level and those formed Government in KPK to
talk to TTP for bringing peace in Pakistan.
there appears no breakthrough in this wishful policy dialogue between
Government and TTP. The primary hurdle is the pessimistic mind-set of the TTP,
the group has reflected over years. Dialogue with the TTP remains non-productive
or even none-starter, as the group challenges writ of the state. This is
surprising that, in previous three agreements, the state gave some sort of
recognition to the presence of TTP or this terrorists
outfit (prior to
2007) and undergone a brief dialogue process. On its part, the terrorists group
continuous challenging the state except for the duration of it ill – organized
is not averse to holding any dialogue, with any terrorists and extremists group
as such, MQM wants that the negotiations be opened with the Government and
State to be in a strong and DICTATING position and not being weak and at the
receiving end. The Terms and Conditions of the TALKS to be CLEARED from the
PARLIAMENT OR POLITICAL PARTIES, STATE and the GOVERNMENT should be very CLEAR,
as to which GROUP OF TERRORIST are DIALOGUE worthy and ready LAY ARMS ACEPT THE
CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN and come in the MAIN STREAM OF THE COUNTRY.
us have a well-debated and practical counter-terrorism strategy at the state
level to combat the TTP. Indecisiveness at state level would allow TTP and its
affiliates more maneuvering space and enhance strength, may be difficult to be
overpowered in the days to come.