PM to discuss NAP progress with top brass today

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his security team had threadbare discussion on the National Action Plan (NAP) on Tuesday.

The meeting was meant to prepare a comprehensive working paper for a broader meeting with the military top brass, to be held on Wednesday. An official statement released after the sitting simply said: “Prime minister chaired meeting to review the internal security situation and implementation of the NAP.”

Following the Quetta tragedy, questions are being raised yet again over the effectiveness of the 20-point NAP, which was launched amid much fanfare in the aftermath of the heinous attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014.

According to independent analysts, both civilian and military leaderships have a lot of explaining to do if the NAP has lost its purpose. And if it has, who is to blame for the failure?

Talking to Dawn, a senior government official privy to Tuesday’s meeting said a point-wise discussion was expected with the top brass on Wednesday. “Everything under the sun which has something to do with NAP implementation will be taken up and discussed,” said the official.

Asked whether the civilian side had flagged certain key issues to be discussed on Wednesday, the official said that every single NAP point was linked to the other, hence, it would be a no-holds-barred discussion.

Govt’s security team reviews key points ahead of civ-mil meeting

“Be the issues related to intelligence-sharing between civil and military agencies, sharing of economic resources between the federal and provincial governments for implementation of the NAP, madressah reforms or action against the hate speech, nothing can be discussed separately,” the official explained.

However, the official was of the view that the focus of Wednesday’s meeting was likely to be the internal security situation.

This was even apparent from the tone and subject of discussion, as explained in the communiqué released after the meeting.

It said that the meeting discussed the internal security situation of the country at length, as well as different aspects of the National Action Plan. “Minster for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and National Security Advisor retired Lt Gen Nasir Khan Janjua briefed the premier on how terrorist organisations are attacking soft targets,” the statement said.

The meeting also observed that after Operation Zarb-i-Azb in Fata yielded positive results, terrorists were choosing targets other than state institutions out of desperation.

“We are in a state of war with an ideology that wants to change our way of life,” the prime minister was quoted as saying, adding that the government was committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure that the blood spilled in Quetta was not in vain.

PM Sharif further emphasised the need for seamless coordination between law enforcement agencies and among provincial governments and the federal government, in order to achieve optimum results within the shortest possible time period.

The prime minister also expressed the resolve that his government would “[secure] Pakistan from every [form of] terrorism and extremism as the country has embarked upon a right track and we will enable every citizen to reap the benefits of a secure, stable and prosperous Pakistan.”

According to the prime minister, terrorists think that they can sow the seeds of disharmony and disunity in the nation. “The nation is united and supports the government to stay on the course of completely eliminating terrorists from Pakistani society.

Talking to Dawn, a serving member of the federal cabinet said it was high time both the civilian and military leaderships came good on their promises.

“The army chief will be hanging up his boots in November this year, whereas the government has less than two years left.” A few months down the road, the media will start reviewing the government’s performance, and articles have already started appearing regarding the potential legacy of the army chief, added the minister.

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