December 21: Punjab's performance on the implementation of
National Action Plan has witnessed a slight downward trend during third quarter
of 2017. This was shared by PILDAT in its Fourth Quarterly Monitor on the Implementation
of National Action Plan on Counter Terrorism in Punjab.
The Public Forum was addressed by Mr. Mujeeb ur Rahman
Shami, Editor in Chief Daily Pakistan, senior journalist; Lt.
Gen. Retd. Moinuddin Haider, Former Governor Sindh, Former Interior
Minister; Mr. Shahid Hamid, Former Governor, Punjab, Former
DG FIA; Mr. Tasneem Noorani, Former Federal Secretary for Interior,
Former Secretary for Education, Punjab; Mr. Tariq Pervez, Former
Caretaker Home Minister, Punjab, Former National Coordinator, NACTA, Former
DG FIA; Arif Nizami, Senior Analyst and Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob,
President PILDAT. Six members of the provincial assembly of Punjab, members
of civil society and a large number of media personnel from the print and electronic
media participated in the event.
Given the importance of the 20-point consensus-based National
Action Plan (NAP) in countering terrorism in Pakistan, PILDAT has undertaken
a citizens' initiative to monitor the progress of implementation of the NAP.
PILDAT Quarterly Monitors report progress based on publicly available data and
aim to serve the purpose of advocacy for effective implementation.
This Fourth Quarterly Monitor on Implementation of NAP in
Punjab is a continuation of periodic monitoring of implementation of National
Action Plan that PILDAT began in January 2017.
Ahmed Bilal Mehboob explained that during the third quarter
of 2017, of the 15 NAP Points pertaining to the performance of Punjab on the
implementation of the National Action, 2 NAP Points (NAP Point 6, which relates
to choking terrorist financing, and 11, which relates to ban on glorification
of terrorists through print and electronic media) have shown upward progress,
while 3 NAP points (NAP Point 7, which relates to ensuring against re-emergence
of proscribed organizations, and Point No. 13 which relates to the dismantling
of terrorist networks and Point No. 15 which calls for Zero-tolerance for militancy
in Punjab) have shown a regression in their status of implementation.
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 8 NAP points reflect consistent implementation
levels during the third quarter of 2017, as compared to the second quarter
Province of Punjab received Green traffic light (progress
satisfactory) on 1 out of 15 NAP points; Green-Amber (progress somewhat satisfactory)
on 9 NAP points, followed by 2 Amber-Red traffic lights (progress somewhat unsatisfactory)
and 1 Red light (progress unsatisfactory).
Speaking at the occasion Mr. Tariq Pervez stated that there
has been very little transparency in the manner that National Action Plan has
been implemented. While many executions have taken place since the moratorium
on death penalty was lifted on the pretext of fighting terrorism, but very few
of those executed were actually terrorists. He stated that NACTA is the agency
tasked with co-ordination of counter-terrorism efforts, but the Government has
not made NACTA a priority. He argued that the implementation of NAP points on
Action against religious persecution, hate literature, terrorist financing and
re-emergence of proscribed organizations was less than satisfactory. There is
also little information on the criteria used to forward cases to military courts.
Mr. Tasneem Noorani opined that while PILDAT's quarterly assessment
of NAP's implementation was rigorous, it appears that the National Action Plan
is no longer a priority for the Government. He stated that when viewed from
this perspective, it seems that implementation on NAP was unsatisfactory on
Mr. Shahid Hamid stated that writ of the state has declined
because of recent events in the country, which was a worrying trend. He stated
that while PILDAT was doing a commendable job by formulating a quarterly assessment
on implementation of NAP, it is in fact NACTA and provincial governments who
should be providing periodic reports on NAP.
Mr. Shami stated the Faizabad incident proves that strict
implementation of NAP also leads to a backlash and has political costs associated
with it. It is therefore imperative that all political forces come together
with the Government to work on this crucial issue. Military courts are not the
answer and instead there is an urgent need to close the communication gap between
the executive and the judiciary for better implementation of NAP, he added.
General Moinuddin Haider stated that many attempts at reforms
had taken place in the recent years, but they usually fall through at the implementation
stage e.g. the proposed FATA reforms. He added that the focus of political
debates recently has not been counter-terrorism, but Panama leaks.
A civil society representative Diep Saeeda commented that
NAP had also been misused to increase the restrictions on civil society activists.
She pointed out ordinary citizens could not raise these questions without facing
state repression. She pointed out that a young activist, Raza Khan has been
missing for 19 days, and civilian authorities were not aware of his whereabouts.
He went missing after attending an event on the topic of extremism.
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.