National Counter Terrorism Authority Briefing
Recently the Coordinator National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) Ihsan Ghani has revealed the successes of National Action Plan being carried out by the Civilian and Military leadership to eliminate terrorism and extremism from the country. Mr. Ihsan while briefing said that almost 70,000 terrorists had so far been arrested in the country under the National Action Plan (NAP). 8,852 armed militants and from banned outfits were arrested from different parts and 11 others were killed in retaliation.
Under the National Action Plan (NAP), 14,000 people had been arrested through the established helpline 1717. 126 accounts with accumulated deposits of over Rs1 billions of banned organizations had been frozen. Due to Karachi operation there was 70 percent reduction in target killings and murders and 80 percent reduction in terrorist incidents in the port city. A total of 69,179 criminals, 890 terrorists, 676 proclaimed offenders, 10,426 absconders, 124 kidnappers, 545 extortionists and 1,834 murderers were also apprehended and 16,306 weapons seized during the Karachi operation. Meanwhile Concrete efforts were being made to ensure that extremists do not get a foothold in Punjab. Over 1,130 hardcore elements were pointed out in Punjab and 649 persons were booked for facilitating hate speeches. In Baluchistan 625 Fararis had surrendered to the authorities concerned and the government was in contact with estranged Baloch nationalists. The deadline for the return of registered Afghan refugees had been set at December 31st this year. Similarly, a total of 2,159 terrorists have been killed and 1,724 arrested by law enforcement agencies under the NAP. According to the report, 332 persons had been executed under the Anti-Terrorism Act so far.
Furthermore 98.3 million SIMs had been blocked for dismantling communication networks of terrorists. At least 933 URLs and 10 websites of militant organizations have also been blocked by the Ministry of Information Technology. 2,337 cases were registered over hate speeches and hate material while 2,195 people were arrested and 73 shops sealed. Likewise, 9,164 cases were registered, 9,340 persons were arrested and 2,452 pieces of equipment confiscated for misuse of loudspeakers.
Under NAP, 8,195 persons were included in ‘fourth schedule’ and movement of 2,052 people was restricted as measures against re-emergence of proscribed organisations and individuals. Uniform registration and data form was developed by NACTA and Ittehad-e-Tanzeemat-e-Madaris Pakistan (ITMP) and shared with stakeholders for registration and regulation of madressahs.
As many as 167 madressahs in Sindh, 13 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two in Punjab were closed.
Under the NAP, list of activists and proscribed organizations was shared with the information ministry and PEMRA for strict implementation of ban on glorification of terrorism in media.
A committee headed by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz was constituted for Fata reforms.
Two Years achievements of Operation Zarb-e-Azb
On June 15, 2014 Operation Zarb-e-Azb was started with the aimed of rooting out menace of terrorism. Two years have passed since the start of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and law and order situation has significantly been improved.
The security situation was very precarious when the government took power. The mosques, churches, markets and other place had become soft targets of the terrorists.
At that time, the incumbent government and the security forces with the mutual consensus initiated decisive action against terrorism. Now, peace has largely been restored in the country. Especially, people of Karachi are now carrying out their day to day activities without any fear.
The phenomenal gains made in the first two years of Zarb-e-Azb became possible only because of a national consensus and single-mindedness among all stakeholders and key institutions for which the federal and provincial governments, political parties, Parliament, the Supreme Court and armed forces deserve immense acclaim and approbation.
The federal government and political parties hammered out a consensus and accorded political ownership to the military campaign; the parliament passed the requisite amendments in the Constitution and the army law; the Supreme Court validated these changes; and the armed forces carried out the operation in an exceptional manner. Every institution earned kudos and congratulations for its role.
The accomplishments achieved by Pakistan’s security apparatus in two years are felt by all and sundry. The fruits of the Zarb-e-Azb are matchless, and the nation is beholden to the armed forces and all other state institutions and political players, who, setting aside their differences on other issues, joined hands against terrorists.
The operation was launched in phases and people were provided opportunity to be shifted to safe areas. The terrorists’ hideouts were destroyed in Shawal and many operations were carried out in Fata and Swat for establishing writ of the government with sacrifices of the troops.
Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) and combing operations were carried out in the four provinces to stop terrorists from spreading. Operations were also undertaken against the facilitators with the help and cooperation of the citizens.
Facts & Findings
During the operation, 7,591 IEDs, 35,310 mortar bombs and rockets and 2,481 land mines and suicide jackets were recovered. The troops seized about 253 tons of explosive which according to some calculations was enough for the terrorists to make ammunition and IEDs for 15 years.
During the two years operation 3,500 terrorists were killed and 992 of their hideouts were destroyed. In achieving this, 490 troops lost their lives while 2108 others were wounded. The wounded included those who had either lost their legs or arms or eyes or much more. It was no less embarrassment that a real no-go area also existed in the tribal belt. Because of restoration of law and order, Sixty-one per cent of the IDPs have returned, while the remaining ones would be back by the end of the year.
During the rehabilitation phase in Fata, schools, mosques and markets were being built and basic infrastructure was being developed and 700 kilometer long road was being built in Waziristan. The new wings of FC and para-military forces were being raised to man the check posts allowing the visitors after proper verification along 2600km porous border with Afghanistan.
Alongside Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan, the army had initiated IBOs in other parts of the country to pre-empt threat of backlash. So far 19,347 IBOs had been carried out in which 213 terrorists were killed. Regarding the Karachi operation, 1,203 terrorists from Al Qaeda in the Subcontinent, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Tehreek-i-Swat had been apprehended. This included 636 targeted killers from proscribed organisations and political parties.
The fight against terrorism and extremism was a long one, which had been successfully brought to a point where the country was getting relief. Action against “roots of terrorism and extremism” would continue in other parts of the country.