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EditorialProvinces and National Action Plan

Provinces and National Action Plan

We are known as a nation which takes measures once eventualities strike us, and after sometime, we forget and give up all those measures. We all remember that when 150 innocent students and teachers were martyred in a horrific terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014, the civilian administration in consultation with the armed forces came up with a National Action Plan (NAP), which necessitated the armed forces to carry out operations against terrorists along with the police and civilian law enforcement agencies with full force. Unfortunately, by and by, the 20-point NAP was forgotten and shelved. Responsibility for NAP’s implementation was given primarily to the provinces under which the provinces were to take legal and judicial actions, mobilize police and other law enforcement agencies to reform madrassas, ban hate literature, seize illegal weapons and train terrorism through special training of civil security agencies.

The last four years have seen hardly any action on NAP at the provincial level. Now one can see the resurgence of terrorists with the help of their sleeper cells and facilitators in all provinces. The surge in sabotage and terrorism incidents n Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan must be an eyeopener for the people who matter in the law and order situation. In this regard, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reminded the provinces of their primary responsibility to restore their role in the implementation of the NAP and  that no compromise should be made on the security and defense of Pakistan. Rise in street crimes in the country is another matter of concern which should be dealt on war footing as gunmen have made it difficult for the people to feel safe while they are outside. The struggle to eradicate terrorism is long and arduous but it cannot be left incomplete. The prime minister has rightly said that ensuring law and order is a basic requirement for the recovery and development of Pakistan’s economy. The NAP, like the armed forces’ operation Zarb-e-Azb and Operation Radul Fasad, is important not only for counter-terrorism and sabotage, but also for curbing the rising street crime. Just like armed forces, provinces should actively use their resources to eradicate all kinds of crimes.

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