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Anti terror fight: Dismal report causes resetting of NACTA


News Analysis |

The Prime Minister Imran Khan has resolved to evaluate the role and functions of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) after receiving a highly unsatisfactory report from the NACTA chief himself. This fact was revealed by the Prime Minister himself while chairing the first-ever meeting of the Board of Governors of NACTA here at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday since the NACTA Act was promulgated in March 2013.

The defence minister, finance minister, law minister, chief ministers of four provinces and Gilgit Baltistan, prime minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir, minister of state for interior division, director-general Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), secretary interior, national coordinator NACTA, chief secretaries, and provincial police chiefs attended the meeting as members of the Board besides other senior officials.

An interesting fact that this was the first-ever Board of Governors (BOG) meeting of the organization, in which the participants had to give approval to annual expenditures of the body and the major administrative decisions taken by it during the last five years.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office after the meeting said that PM Imran Khan remarked that the new ground realities called for revisiting the role of the organization in order to make this body truly a proactive and sophisticated organization with a well-defined mandate. “It was, therefore, decided during the meeting to constitute a committee for reviewing the role and functioning of the organization,” the statement said.

A proposal floated in the gathering was to disband NACTA following a response of the NACTA chief that “there was no need of the body;” Nonetheless, this measure was opposed by some senior officials at the meeting. The PM Imran Khan praised the sacrifices of security agencies in the battle against terrorism and the overall improvement in the security situation of the country. He further said that Pakistan has come a long way in its fight against terrorism and extremism.

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The Prime Minister said new ground realities call for revisiting the role of NACTA to make this body truly a proactive and sophisticated organization with a well-defined mandate. The meeting, therefore, decided to constitute a committee for reviewing the role and functioning of the organization, which will submit its recommendations to the Prime Minister in a weeks’ time.

Sources point towards the dismal report presented by the newly appointed National Coordinator (NC) NACTA Mehr Khaliq Dad Lak for the reset. Mehr Khalid had briefed the meeting about the mandate and the role of the organization since its establishment as a premier body for policy formulation and implementation of national terrorism and counter violent extremism strategy according to a statement by the PM Office.

PM Khan had continued “In this struggle, Pakistan had offered the highest sacrifices of the lives of thousands of its civilians and the security personnel.

The official sources informed that the NACTA chief in his briefing said that the performance of all former NACTA chiefs remained miserable and they had done nothing during their tenures. Mehr Khaliq Dad Lak, a senior police officer of grade 22, also said that he was new in the organization and there was nothing to show at the credit of NACTA. Upon the question of the PM, whether it was wise to spend public money on such an organization, the NC NACTA had answered there “was no need of NACTA”.

In fact, it was the rather depressing assessment by the NACTA chief that the meeting sidetracked its focus towards the role and functions of NACTA instead of concentrating on the earlier decided program of the meeting. An interesting fact that this was the first-ever Board of Governors (BOG) meeting of the organization, in which the participants had to give approval to annual expenditures of the body and the major administrative decisions taken by it during the last five years. However, the dismal and gloomy report caused by the meeting’s agenda to be sidetracked.

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The section 7 of NACTA ACT 2013 regarding powers and functions of the BoG says that the Board shall “recommend rules and approve policies and manuals” as well as “approve the annual budget prepared by the Authority.” NACTA has earlier been in the news in another controversy when at least 22 interns were fired after only two months despite having been contracted for a period of 1 year.

According to the statement of PM Office, the meeting also reviewed, in detail, the progress on the implementation status of 20 points of National Action Plan (NAP). The statement says that PM Imran Khan in his remarks stated that Pakistan had come a long way in its fight against the menace of terrorism and countering violent extremism.

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PM Khan had continued “In this struggle, Pakistan had offered the highest sacrifices of the lives of thousands of its civilians and the security personnel. Lauding huge services and contributions of the armed forces, intelligence agencies, police and other law enforcement and security agencies, the prime minister observed that improved security situation today was a result of combined efforts of all stakeholders.”

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