Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 73

Security Challenges Confronted by Pakistan: Critical Appraisal of National

Action Plan and Way Forward

Research Paper

Presented By:

Syndicate 1/ 39th STP

Chairperson: Dr Anem Sajid Malik, PAS
Secretary: Major (Retired) Aurangzeb Badini, PAS

Civil Services Academy Mall Road, Lahore

The Syndicate Research Team

1. Dr Anem Sajid Malik

2. Major (Retired) Aurangzeb Badini
3. Dr Muhammad Anas Iqbal
4. Sarah Rehman



In wake of the direct assault at the young students of Army Public School Peshawar
in December 2014 the government meted out a twenty-point National Action Plan
directly aimed at not only rooting out the terrorists but also the threat perception
from its roots. For Pakistan, the security challenges are multifarious and can broadly
be categorized into threats emanating from (i) extremism, (ii) sub-nationalism, and
(iii) ethnic divides. Security and lack of therein in Pakistan prima facie has become
one of the most talked about happening both in Pakistan and abroad. Pertinent
security challenge post War on Terror has emanated from Taliban who have assumed
both a local trans territorial and an international extra territorial thrust of operation.
The security upheaval and its challenges plaguing the nation have time and again
been a matter under serious consideration for policy makers, analysts, security
personnel, civil society and international agencies. To deal with this ever growing
menace of terrorism the first National Internal Security Policy was rolled out in
February 2014 aiming at curtailing terrorists by employing both soft and hard
measures. The 20 point National Action Plan with its implementation or lack of
thereof after a year and half from its conception needs to be critically analysed in
terms of the ambitious wish list set by the government enjoining widespread
warrants and arrests, revival of a central body National Counter Terrorism Authority
(initially established in 2009 to coordinate and collaborate with at least 15
committees provided for by the NAP and apex committees at the provincial level)
and establishment of military trial courts. A critical appraisal of the political
obstacles and logistical hindrances, dormant committees, unclear statistics of capital
punishments of hard core terrorist viz-a-vis the acute-on-chronic dishevelled
security predicament in the country is mandatory. Policy management challenges
regarding over centralization of the government, NACTAs legal uncertainty,
dormant CCNS and NSC, unclear role of Dedicated Response Force, unclear fencing
on the western front, and ambiguity in madrasah reforms concerning the curricula
need to be addressed holistically to fully tackle the security challenges baffling the
nation and making the reiteration of its security policy as NAP meaningful with
undying resolve to root out the evil of terrorism for good.

Executive Summary

More than a decade into the war on terror, Pakistan is grappling with the after math
of the deleterious effects of fighting someone else's war- the spillover of terrorist
factions in the country. Home grown terrorist outfits have played havoc with the
peace, prosperity, law and order situation and the entire nation was shaken badly
after innocent children were shot mercilessly after having to see their teacher being
torched. This brutality brought forth the National Action Plan to steer the nation in
a right direction to ward off the terror disrupting the peace and tranquil of the
The NAP is an exhaustive mix of hardcore kinetic measures evolving military and
use of force to bring out and put to task all hate and mischief mongers culpable of
violating the security of the natives and the sovereignty of the state. Zero tolerance
attitude of the state is overly manifested in the hard intervention points emanating
from the NAP yet not much is done on ground for the soft interventions which
indeed are targeted at the very basis of this evil of terrorism.
This paper aims at investigating the already existing laws and policies linked with
security planning, policy, strategy and execution. NACTA is identified the
lynchpin in devising and executing a cogent counter terrorism and extremism
strategy. NACTA’s sphere of influence needs to be expanded to bring under its
umbrella all concerned stakeholders so as to utilize all available resources
optimally and direct them towards achieving specific, clear and tangible goals
aligned with the NISP and its extension NAP.
Mere cosmetic measures on emergency need basis ought to be discouraged.
Thinking through the real threat remains the penultimate missing link. Apart from
aggressive surgical strikes and operations to uproot the terrorists, national narrative
needs to be focused on reforms in FATA and Balochistan to make them at par with

other provinces in the country. Social justice is indispensable to annihilating
dissatisfaction and despair among the downtrodden masses. This calls for a heavy
and long awaited investment in the social sector. Madrassah reforms need to be
initiated with full vigor and regulating this much neglected parallel system of
education is imperative to ironing out the dissenting factions breeding violence in
the society. Criminal justice system needs to be heavily invested in to remove the
sense of injustice and lawlessness in the society. Strengthening NACTA and under
it building capacity of the LEAs and regulating the dissemination of education
remain crucial to realize the goals enunciated in the NAP.


ANP - Awami National Party

ATA - Ant-Terrorism Act, 1997

BLA - Balochistan Liberation Party

BLF - Balochistan Liberation Front

BoG - Board of Governor

BRA - Balochistan Republican Army

CAF - Civil Armed Forces

CTD - Counter Terrorism Department

CTF - Counter Terrorism Force

FATA - Federally Administered Tribal Area

FMU - Financial Monitoring Unit

HEC - Higher Education Commission

ICG - International Crisis Group

ICT - Islamabad Capital Territory

IMU - Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

ISIS - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

IS - Internal Security

KP - Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

LEAs - Law Enforcement Agencies

LeJ - Lashkar e Jhangvi

MOI - Ministry of Interior

MOIB - Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

MQM - Muttahida Qaumi Movement

NACTA - National Counter Terrorism Authority

NAP - National Action Plan

NISP - National Internal Security Policy

NS - National Security

PPA - Protection of Pakistan Act, 2014

QRF - Quick Response Force

RRF - Rapid Response Force

ST - Sunni Tehreek

STC - Special Trial Courts

STR - Suspicious Transaction Report

TTP - Tehreek-i-Talibaan Pakistan

Introduction 10

Section-I Security Challenges to Pakistan their Critical Appraisal 14

Section-II Role Of NACTA, CCNS and Apex Committees 30

Section-III Militancy in Punjab 48
Section-IV Madrassah registration and regulation 59

Conclusion 74
Way Forward 76

Bibliography 78

Annexures 80


Pakistan is going through the most complex and challenging period of its
history to date which has numerous fault lines exploitable by external players. This
fragile situation has linkage to internal strife among various social strata leading to
the perceived sense of oppression among different ethnic and linguistic factions
leading to sub nationalism and sectarian divide. Thus, Pakistan today faces a security
impasse both in the regional and global perspective.

Pakistan’s present predicament is embedded in the history of insincere neglect

of rule of law and squandered opportunities further compounded with exploitation
by super powers. Terrorism, extremism, sectarianism, ethnicity, and economic
instability, have emerged as fundamental variables of internal security threat to
Pakistan. This has not only exposed us to external threat but to enormous internal
challenges. Failure to check terrorism and religious extremism have created an
unenviable image of Pakistan in front of the global community. At the same time
inter-provincial grievances could potentially cause serious damage to the federation.
Wrong economic policies and absence of genuine socio- economic development
have provided dissident elements and regional forces grounds to exploit and weaken
Pakistan internally. The opportunist leaders are also responsible for this situation
whose lack of far sightedness and greed for power made Pakistan a weak state with
fragile institutions. Al-Qaeda, Taliban and several other defunct organizations are
recruiting militants to fuel violence and extremism, thus sowing the seeds for

The National Action Plan was commenced by the government of Pakistan

after the Army Public School massacre in Peshawar on 16 December 2014. It was
established to clear out terrorism and to increase the ongoing anti-terrorist

offensive in North West Pakistan. The plan, which includes foreign and domestic
policy initiatives, received support from all over the country. It gave structure for
the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, which was passed on
7 January 2015, to speed up the trial of military courts. However, it has been more
than a year since the commencement of the plan but no glaring results have been
achieved so far which makes the status of National action plan doubtful.

The multifaceted threats and their overall impact on the internal security of
Pakistan need to be analysed in the back drop of National action plan in order to
recommend a way forward.


1. What is the exact nature of the security challenges Pakistan is facing in present
day and the scope of the research with regards to such challenges?

2. What measures has the state been taking against these challenges thus far prior
to the National Action Plan? Did any policy exist?

3. How is the NAP different and what particular measures does it introduce to
address the challenges identified by this research?

4. Has NAP realised the reactivation of NACTA as envisioned under the NACTA
Act 2013?

5. Government in its twenty-point NAP reiterated that it would leave no space for
terrorism in any part of the country, including Punjab. To what extent has the
government implemented its plan in Punjab vis-a-vis the functioning of police
and home department alongside coordinating with the interior ministry.

6. How has NAP, institutionalized the madaris reforms in Punjab in terms of

registration and regulation of seminaries to prevent militancy, sectarianism and


In “Pakistan A Hard Country” by Anatol Lieven the author has explained why
the terrorists won’t ever have the upper hand in this fight against state, the author
owes this to the strong kinship based patronage system in Pakistan. Even though
there is no likelihood that Pakistani militants would ever be able to overthrow the
government there is real danger that they would retain the ability to keep attacking
civilians and armed forces for a long time to come.

In the book” What’s Wrong with Pakistan” Babar Ayaz has come up with a
view that the space provided to extremists during Zia era allowed them to peddle
their narrative without any check. No matter how hard the government tries, getting
that space back remains elusive. Through this space the terrorists do the most
heinous of the crimes and defend these with this ill-conceived narrative.

Mujahid Husain in “Punjabi Taliban:Driving Extremism in Pakistan” states that

there are more than 150,000 insurgents in Punjab spread over eight divisions having
a centre in almost all 36 districts of Punjab. According to author the next major battle
against terrorists would have to be fought in the cities and villages of Punjab.

“Madrassa Education 2014: Challenges, Reforms and Possibilities” by the Youth

Parliament Standing Committee on Education and Youth affairs identified a number
of issues pertaining to lack of data on seminaries numbers, their unregulated
curriculum, unaccounted source of funding and irregular teaching techniques selling
discontent, hatred, Ill will amongst the impoverished segments of the Society.
However, a major link of social development by investing regularly in the
mainstream education system was missing and needed further dilation in wake of
the NAP which itself provided for pushing Madrassa Reforms.

Madrasahs Genesis is traced back to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in 1979
when Pakistan gained prominence as the feeder of Jihadi Movement against Soviet
control. Post 9/11 Madrasaah assumed ever so more importance and drive for
“enlightened moderation” swept through Musharaf’s regime. To its merit was the
National Educational Policy 1999-2010 envisaging various objectives in context of
Madrasah but these could not be materialised. Despite Pakistan Madrassa Board
Ordinance 2001, Madrassa Voluntary Registration Ordinance of 2005 and Madrassa
Reform Project. These however could not be implemented owing to resistance of the
Madrassah authorities, lack of political will not just at the federal level but also
tantamount to inaction and slackness between provincial and regional educational
authorities (“Madrassa Reforms in Pakistan: A Historical Analysis”, Abdul Rauf
Iqbal and Ms Sobia Raza, ISSRA Papers 2015). This stalemate exists still and further
causes for inaction remained the purview of the paper especially when Madrasah
reforms was singled out by the NAP.

UK Department of International Development in its Policy brief 1-2009 has given

a framework for bringing about reforms by adequately removing mistrust between
the government and Madrassa officials, high resolve of the state for bureaucratic and
financial support to the reform package, provision of theological learning in wake of
its indigenous demand, targeting the reforms to the desired objectives to be achieved
in Madrassa and involving foreign donors for teacher training, provision of material
and equipment. Thus DFID emphasized the need for strong governments support to
Madrassah to win over the confidence, regulate seminaries as chains of institutions
with uniform, standard curricula and pedagogical techniques. This remains far from
being put into practice and further probe into why the government and agencies
despite having a roadmap not been able to connect the dots is investigated in our



Being considered as “the most dangerous country in the world”1, spending
more than a decade into war, receiving more than 60,000 causalities2 and facing huge
economic losses, we are still standing at the crossroads, confused over war on terror
(WOT) being our war or their war. The security mosaic of Pakistan has to be looked
into detail from both internal and external threat perspective to highlight the
challenges confronting the country.
1. Threat Perception and Dimensions
a. Pseudo-religious Terrorism. Universally, religion and belief are most
sacred to any human. In our context, the socio-cultural makeup of
society, Afghan War slipups and the limited understanding of religion
catalyses radicalization of society which is further exploited to cultivate
(1) Key Players. The key players are hardcore pseudo-
religious terrorist organizations, the loosely bonded religious
organizations and their network across the country (TTP, Al-
Qaeda, IMU, & ISIS etc3)
(2) Stated Interest. Implementation of Shariah Law and
establishment of an Islamic Caliphate.

Kevin Hubert, The Cipher Brief, http://tribune.com.pk/story/970196/pakistan-most-dangerous-country-for-the-
South Asia Terrorism Portal, http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/Pakistan/database/casualties.htm
South Asia Terrorism Portal, http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/group_list.htm

(3) Unstated Interests. Challenging writ of the state, black
economy and retaining own influence over the region.
(4) Strategy. In physical terms target LEAs and society aimed at
creating strategic effects, while in psychological domain instil
fear and mistrust in masses.
(5) Areas of Influence. Their operatives are mostly either
frustrated and religiously motivated uneducated youth or the
affectees of drone strikes4.
(6) Futuristically. If left unchecked; this form of terrorism would
result into increasing extremism, and radicalization challenging
Comprehensive National Security.
b. Sectarianism. Pakistan a country with 97% Muslims comprising of
only two major sects i.e. 77% Sunnis and 20% Shias is blemished by
sectarianism. However, the historical linkages of sectarianism are
important to be consider. The ideological history of Pakistan,
subsequent declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslims followed by Sect
based Islamisation program by late General Zia in 1982 projecting
Sunni as base religion gave birth to sectarianism - the Sunni-Shia
polarization. This polarization is further compounded by intra sect
rivalry within Sunnis. Subsequently, Madrassas and Mosques were
seen as bases of sects while religious organizations like Sipah–e-
Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (Sunni) and Sipah-e-Muhammad (Shia),
Sunni Tehrik (Brelvi-Sunni) etc surfaced as militant religious

How drones create more terrorist, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/how-drones-
South Asia Terrorism Portal, http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/group_list.htm

(1) Key Players. Hard-core religious organizations and commoners
with religious inclination, exploited by foreign elements.
(2) Interests. Suppression of opposing sect and expansion of own
sect ideology.
(3) Strategy. Sectarianism can be termed as event driven. Hazara
killings and Rawalpindi incidents are examples.
(4) Areas of Influence. Although these can happen all over the
country; yet, GB, Balochistan and FATA are the worst hit. On
the other hand, its upsurge in urban areas is indeed an eye

(5) Future Outlook. If exploited more external forces, it retains

potential of challenging national security at an unprecedented

Niloufer Siddiqui, Sectarian Violence and Intolerance in Pakistan, http://www.mei.edu/content/map/sectarian-

scale which is quite evident from the increase in the intensity of
the incidents7.

c. Ethno-political Turf War. The statistics show diversity in our ethnic

society8. Ethno-political turf war is not new to Pakistan; yet, it is a
lesson unlearnt. We still have Inability to harness society on collective

Niloufer Siddiqui, Sectarian Violence and Intolerance in Pakistan, http://www.mei.edu/content/map/sectarian-
1998 Census Report of Pakistan, Govt of Pakistan.

identity and ideology. Pakistan unfortunately faces a conundrum of
ethnic polarization, linguistic issues, resource distribution, biased
policies and subjugation of rights9. Significant examples include:
(1) Breakaway of East Pakistan.
(2) Balochistan secessionist movement / Insurgencies of 1948, 1956,
1973, while the current situation is again not very encouraging
(BLA, BLF & BRA etc).
(3) Muhajir Qaumi Movement and ongoing turf war for political
(4) The Saraiki Suba Movement initiated by the 10% Saraikis of
Bahawalpur, Multan and DG Khan Division. Though not very
popular, it accentuates the situation.
(5) The political parties, ignorant of the consequences, often exploit
the ethnicity for poltical gains. Feudalism and tribalism worsen
the situation thus aggravating the sense of deprivation.
d. Criminal Mafias. Though predominant in Karachi (MQM10, groups
working under ANP11 and TTP, Lyari gangs), random glimpses can be
seen all across (ST and Chotu group etc). Terrorism in Urban areas
affects the social fabric by initiating strong wave of insecurity. The
spectrum of urban terrorism includes target killing, kidnapping for
ransom, drug trafficking, gun running, bank robbing and car snatching.

Brigadier Muhammad Javed Iqbal, Dynamics of Internal Security of Pakistan, Citadel 2/2015, pp, 23-26.

Haroon Yousaf Raja, Karachi in darkness and soaked in blood,


b. The Compound Effects from two perspectives.
a. In Physical Domain. This culminates in undermined efficiency
of LEAs, paralysis in decision making, stalled institutions,
political and economic instability and eventually tarnished image
of Pakistan.
b. While in Psychological Domain. Psychological manifestations
include a dissatisfied & fragmented society, embedded distrust
between public and government and eventually leading towards
widening gap between state and society.
c. End State. Fragile Internal Security Situation contributing
towards “A dysfunctional, marginalized and weak Pakistan”
2. Graphical representation of enablers and multipliers is portrayed as12:-

Brigadier Muhammad Javed Iqbal, Dynamics of Internal Security of Pakistan, Citadel 2/2015.

3. Owing to geostrategic compulsions, Pakistan remained involved in coalition
with big powers which had a trickledown effect on internal security.
4. Seeing the recent developments in and around Pakistan, it is not difficult to
identify the involvement of external players in Pakistan. A few incidents aptly
exemplifying this are:
a. Attack on GHQ highlights their ingress and reach.
b. Mehran Base attacks specifically targeting high value assets.
c. Taking out only intended targets at Kamra Base.
d. Attacks on Church, just before UNSC meeting of heads of states.
e. Linkage of TTP with Afghan and Indian Intelligence Agencies.

f. Apprehension of Kalbashau Yadau in Balochistan.
2. External players are augmenting the internal security of Pakistan with covert
patronage, funding armaments, planning, identification of targets, intelligence
sharing, and training and Psychological warfare.

The Regional Matrix

5. Centrality of India as a Source of Primary Threat
The Indian interests in the regional context are:
a. Stated Interest. Pakistan - A stable and peaceful neighbour.
b. Unstated Interests
(1) A weak, isolated and marginalized Pakistan.
(2) Indian desire to turn Pakistan into a vassal state.
(3) Orchestrate a two front dilemma.
(4) Defame Pakistan as a state, harbouring and sponsoring terrorism.
(5) Exploit internal fissures of Pakistan embroiling armed forces.
(6) Undermine Kashmir cause while promoting primacy of
economics as the core issue.
(7) Cultural invasion and projecting two nation’s theory as flawed.
c. Manifestation. To this end, India is overtly and covertly trying to
squeeze space for Pakistan 13 . Interesting to note is the US Special
Envoy James Dobbins’s statement “Islamabad’s concerns over New
Delhi’s presence in Afghanistan are exaggerated but not “Ground
Less”14. The manifestation

Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch (Zehri), “The Balochistan Conflict”, PILDAT Background paper, 8 May 2007
James Dobbins, US special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Aug-

(1) Through Consulates in Afghanistan, India continues to fuel
secessionist movement in Balochistan and FATA through
patronage, material and financial support15.
(2) Apprehension of Latifullah Mehsud by US forces in Afghanistan
plotting with Afghan / Indian intelligence to escalate terrorist
operations against Pakistan and assistance provided to Fazlullah
in settling down in Kunar/ Nuristan.
(3) At diplomatic front India is endeavoring to assume role of
frontline state against terrorism and projecting Pakistan as part
of problem.
(4) In psychological domain besides targeting society through socio-
cultural invasion, projects Pakistan internationally as a failing
state which remains un-resisted by Pakistan.
6. Iran Though Iran and Pakistan have never been hostile to each other; yet, there
have been times when both countries took widely divergent stands on various
issues16. Tensions between Pakistan and Iran intensified after October 18 th 2009,

Usman Ali Khan, India, Pakistan relations: ending terrorism, myths and

blame game,http://foreignpolicynews.org/2015/07/25/india-pakistan-relations-
Para Din, “Pak-Iran Relation Since 1947”, in “Pakistan Iran Relations in Historical Perspective”, edited by Dr Syed
Minhaj ul Hassan and Sayyed Abdolhossain Raeisossadat.( Peshawer: Culture Centre of the Islamic Republic of Iran
2004) p 157.

attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Sistan. President Ahmadinejad accused
Pakistan for this alleged attacks. Few of the other issues include:
a. Jundollah is viewed with concern by both countries whose network
stretches to both sides of border fighting for greater autonomy of
Balochis in Iran and Pakistan17.
b. Considering the bitter experience with Taliban Regime, Iran favours
Shia and non-Pashtun participation in Afghanistan i.e. Northern
c. Iran is concerned about Pakistan’s orientation towards KSA and USA.
d. In addition, controversy over Gawadar Port marginalizing Iran’s
strategic dominance in straits of Hurmaz has been a sore point. Iran has
started developing Chahbahar Port with support of India18 as a response
to Pak- China project of developing Gawadar. Work on Chabahar-
Melak-Zaranj-Dilaram from Iran to Afghanistan is in progress19.
e. The recent US-Iran rapprochement presents challenges as well as
opportunities to Pakistan.
f. Future Outlook – A Ticking Bomb. An upsurge in sectarianism at
unprecedented scale could be a worst case scenario. Should India
succeed to transform sectarianism into anti-state movement by
exploiting hardliners of both sects; it can turn dreadful for Iran and

IranTracker. Ariel Farrar-Wellman, Robert Frasco’Pakistan-Iran Foreign Relations’ [cited 5 July 2010] Available
from www.irantracker.org/foreign-relations/pakistan-iran-foreign-relations
Dredging Today. Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury. Indian keen to develop Chahbahar Port[cited 27 July
2010].Available at www.dredgingtoday.com/2010/07/27/india -keen-to-develop-iran’s-chabahar-

7. Afghanistan
Pakistan shares a long porous border with Afghanistan and had to bear the fallout of
Russo-Afghan war like influx of refugees and spread of social evils. After US
invasion, power was shifted to Northern Alliance, which was previously supported
by India and Russia.20 With present Afghan government, space has been intelligently
occupied by India in the garb of reconstruction of their institutions21, training of men,
investments or aid. Mr Ehsanullah Aryanzai the advisor to Afghan government
stated, “India is using Afghan soil to destabilize Pakistan and Afghan security
agencies are unable to stop Indian intervention”22. Therefore, post US drawdown,
if broad based government is not established in Afghanistan, it would lead to
violence and instability resulting in spread of cross border terrorism23.
Role of Extra Regional Powers
8. United States. Pakistan is confronted with a paradox, wherein it is seen as
supporter of terrorism in Afghanistan, and contrarily at home as a supporter of US
policies. This paradox has created a gulf between the masses and government. On
the other hand, both Pakistan and US see each other with suspicion. US covert and
overt actions in Pakistan have given rise to unprecedented anti US sentiment. United
States also tows Indian line and feels concerned about religious extremism in
Pakistan. This allows religiously motivated groups to raise public sentiments against
US and Government of Pakistan, which is detrimental to internal security.

Major General Muhammad Yaqub Khan, “Terrorism, its Dynamics and Response Option for Pakistan”, Pakistan
Army Green Book (2014): 47.
Ehsanullah Aryanzai, Afghan Government advisor, stated on April 2, 2009, Ms. Iffat Pervaz, ISSRA’s Discourse on
Afghanistan Conflict, http://www.ndu.edu.pk/issra/issra_pub/articles/issra-paper/Issra-papers-1st-Half-15/08-

1. C. Christine Fair and Sarah J. Watson, Pakistan's Enduring Challenges,


University of Pennsylvania press.

9. China. China sees three evils, i.e. terrorism, extremism and separatism as
major security concern. China’s biggest concern is the spill over of Afghan
instability into Xingjian.
10. Role of Gulf Countries. Few of the gulf countries are supporting Sunni
factions by providing them with financial support in the name of philanthropy
(unchecked) for expansionism of their brand of Islam. Unchecked flow of money is
being donated directly to Madrassahs’ and parties of their sect.
11. The visible fault lines in the internal security mosaic and external security
situation are as follows: -
a. The Crisis of Identity and hiding from the past. Equality, religious
tolerance and nationalism have fallen prey to sentiments of ethnicity,
linguistic issues, and rights subjugation.
b. Religious Disarray – Understanding and Interpretation of Islam
Incorrect religious understanding resulting into terrorism and Islam
within Islam gives birth to religious polarization.
c. Tribalism, Feudalism & Self Centric Politics. Political parties in
quest of vested interests exploit unaware ignorant society giving rise to
political divide and sub-nationalism.
d. Enablers and Multipliers of Terrorism. Enablers like poverty,
economic stagnation, un-employment, elite capture, institutional decay,
social injustice and absence of rule of law result into increased
corruption, nepotism and lawlessness. Multipliers like irregular
urbanization and poor education standards cause dissatisfied masses
vulnerable to exploitation.




1. National Internal Security Policy

The NISP was the State response to the growing national and internal security
concerns unveiled on the 26th of February, 2014. The NISP’s five policy objectives
are to establish the writ of the state and protect citizens from internal threats; protect
life, property, and fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan; promote pluralism
and culture of tolerance; prevent, deter and contain threats to internal security in a
transparent, accountable and just manner; resolve and manage disputes with the
hostile elements without compromising the rule of law. The implementation of NISP
was estimated to cost a total of PKR 32billion and was said to be implemented till
December 31, 201424.

2. To achieve such objectives, the NISP provided 46 general and specific

actionable points, assigned responsibility, devised timelines, and estimated the
approximate costs. The salient features of the NISP are as follows:

a. Dialogue with the relevant stakeholders;

b. Isolate the hostile elements, secure borders, and garner international


c. Develop and build the capacity of criminal justice system and police to
deter and neutralize threats to national internal security;

d. Strengthening of NACTA to implement the soft and hard components

of NISP;

Ministry of Interior, “National Internal Security Policy 2014-2018,”

e. Address the lacunae in coordination and intelligence sharing through
the Directorate of Internal Security

3. In the month following the release of the NISP, PILDAT arranged a

discussion of experts as to the efficacy of NISP as a policy document and
commissioned journalist Saleem Safi to write an analysis report. During the
discussion, many were doubtful as to whether the NISP can be implemented at all.
Mr. Tasneem Noorani (former interior secretary) felt that NISP was overrun by
jargon and relied too heavily on NACTA to be a clear workable plan. The Member
National Assembly Shireen Mizari considered it lacking in “policy” and rather
simply “a collection of tactics and strategies.”25

4. Saleem Safi in his analysis report pointed out shortcomings of the NISP. On
the whole he deemed it a step in the right direction however the implementation
would require, inter alia:

a. Capacity building for the hard components of the policy;

b. National narrative to supplant the hard components;

c. Confidence building measures between the civil and military

institutions; and

d. Cooperation between federal and provincial levels26.

5. However, two years down the line and NISP does not even find mention in
the discourse on terrorism and security concerns. In fact, NAP would not even be
needed had NISP been implemented in letter and spirit since NISP included general

Waqas Naeem, “Internal Security: Policy a good step but devoid of substance, say experts,” Express Tribune,
March 27, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2016, http://tribune.com.pk/story/687716/internal-security-policy-a-
Saleem Safi, “National Internal Security Policy - An Analysis,” Discussion Paper for PILDAT, March 2014

policy and action points in the same manner as NAP27. The failure of NISP according
to Khawaja Khalid Farooq (ex-IG police) is a result of the failure of “inter-
organizational and national consensus28” which Saleem Safi pointed out would be
imperative to make NISP a reality.

6. National Action Plan

It is unclear why the political governments felt the need to introduce the NAP when
a comprehensive security policy already existed. It is possible that it was the need of
the hour to placate the millions of grieving Pakistanis that demanded an
instantaneous response from the Government and merely reiterating the NISP, and
thereby highlighting its failure, would further aggravate the situation.

7. However, as we shall see, not much can be said of the failure or success of
NAP considering the lack of quantifiable and time-bound objectives. If the only
indicator is a decrease in terror attacks some progress has been made as the Pak
Institute for Peace Studies has found that from beginning of January till the end of
August 2015, there were 471 terror attacks in Pakistan which is a 49% decrease from
the corresponding period in 201429. If an indicator is also the success of Zarb-e-Azab
– which preceded the APS attack and the NAP, then we only have statistics from the
military to rely upon.

Dr. Hassan Askari Rizvi, “Pakistan’s tryst with counter-terrorism,” Express Tribune, January 24, 2016. Accessed
September 17, 2016, http://tribune.com.pk/story/1033423/pakistans-tryst-with-counter-terrorism/
Hassan Naqvi, “Who is failing anti-terror works?,” Daily Times, August 15, 2016. Accessed on September 3, 2016.
Pak Institute for Peace Studies, “Pakistan Security Report, 2015,” http://pakpips.com/downloads/282.pdf

8. The points of NAP and respective achievement30

Point NAP point Progress

1 Implementation of death sentence of those Nearly 332 death row prisoners
convicted in cases of terrorism hanged
4 NACTA, the anti-terrorism institution will Dealt with separately
be strengthened
5 Strict action against the literature, Over 1,500 books and other hate
newspapers and magazines promoting material had been confiscated, 71
hatred, decapitation, extremism, such shops sealed; 1,961 suspects
sectarianism and intolerance spreading hate material have
been arrested and 1,893 cases
filed against clerics. Of these,
271 have been convicted while
826 cases are still pending before
special courts
6 All funding sources of terrorists and Law Enforcement Agencies
terrorist outfits will be frozen (LEAs) have frozen Rs. 1billion
in 126 accounts linked to
proscribed organizations. LEAs
have recovered Rs251.2 million
in cash which was being traded
through Hawala and Hundi.
Identified 190 seminaries that
receive funds from abroad
7 The defunct outfits will not be allowed to 7,923 people put in the fourth
operate under any other name schedule, names of 188 hardcore
militants on the Exit Control List.
Movement of 2,081 hardcore
militants restricted, government
has registered 1,026 cases, while
230 terror suspects have been

Information from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting: http://infopak.gov.pk/InnerPage.aspx?Page_ID=46

10 Registration and regulation of religious The government has closed
seminaries down 87 madrassas in Sindh
and 13 in Khyber-
Pakhtunkhwa, Two seminaries
have been sealed in Punjab
where students were found in
contact with banned groups
14 Concrete measures against promotion of 933 URLs and 10 websites of
terrorism through internet and social media militant organizations have also
been blocked by the Ministry of
Information Technology
15 No room will be left for the extremism in 102 Islamic seminaries sealed for
any part of the country fanning extremism.
54,376 combing operations so far
under NAP and as results of these
70,000 arrests were made.
Similarly, 3,019 intelligence
based operations were carried out
and 1,388 intelligence reports
were shared with intelligence
16 Ongoing operation in Karachi will be taken The Rangers has arrested over
to its logical end 58,000 criminals. Of them, 9,570
were absconders while 630 were
proclaimed offenders. Others
apprehended during the
operation included 1,731
murderers, 713 terrorists, 517
extortionists and 118 kidnappers.
Security forces also recovered
15,612 illegal weapons during
the operation
17 Balochistan government to be fully 625 Fararis surrendered to
empowered for political reconciliation authorities; government in
with complete ownership by all contact with estranged Baloch
stakeholders nationalists

18 Action against elements spreading 7,000 cases have been filed and
sectarianism 6,855 alleged hate-preachers
arrested. Of them, 1,482 have
been convicted of
hatemongering on
19 Formulation of a comprehensive policy to 3,416 Afghan Refugees have
deal with the issue of Afghan refugees, been deported: 2,844 from KP,
beginning with registration of all refugees 195 from Balochistan, one in
Islamabad and 376 from FATA
N.B. credible information could not be found on the remaining NAP points.

9. National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA)

The NACTA is the most instrumental actor in both the NISP and NAP and indeed
its potential to spearhead Pakistan’s fight against terrorism is undeniable. It is also
directly or indirectly involved in at least fourteen of the twenty-point NAP. For this
reason, in terms of appraising the success of the NAP it is of prime importance to
look at the functioning of NACTA.

10. The government set up NACTA in the year 2009 and then oddly in the
National Counter Terrorism Authority Act (NACTA Act) followed in the year 2013
to grant it legislative authority and possibly as a measure to nudge the dead
institution into operation. Section 4 lays down a comprehensive list of functions of
the Authority which include: receiving and collating data and intelligence;
coordination between stakeholders; prepare counter terrorism strategies; develop
actions plans against terrorism and extremism; carry out relevant research; liaison
with international entities; review laws and suggest amendments; and appoint
committees of experts for areas falling under NACTAs mandate. Section 5 of the
NACTA Act provided for a Board of Governors (BoG) comprising of 22 members
including the Prime Minister as Chairman. The BoG is required to provide the
strategic vision for NACTA. Section 8 of the NACTA Act sets up the Executive

Committee comprising of 26 members with the Minister for Interior as the
Chairman. The Executive Council is the body responsible for implementation of the
decisions of the BoG31.

11. Present Status and Critical Analysis of NACTA

a. Basic failure to initiate full operations

The fundamental failing of NACTA is obvious. It exists mostly on paper.

Despite the fact that it is led by a high powered board chaired by the Prime
Minister, as of June 5, 2016, not a single meeting of the BoG under his
chairmanship has been convened. A lethargy that has trickled down to the
very basic, operational functions of NACTA 32 . For a country constantly
steeped in terrorism and extremism and one conducting yet another military
operation against insurgents, it has little to no presence or public relations in
the media. Only recently the Coordinator of NACTA addressed the media in
order to give them various facts about the achievements of NAP. However it
must be remembered that NACTA is not meant to act as a public relations or
information wing to the government’s counter terrorism policies. It is to
spearhead and actively lead counter terrorism measures. This includes
planning at strategic and operational levels. Consider the mandate awarded to
NACTA under section 4 of the NACTA Act. It endows the authority with vital
and core functions of fighting Pakistan’s war against terror. NACTA is
expected to lead from the front and act as a coordinating centre. Compared to
the tasks NACTA is entrusted with, it is evident that NACTA’s progress – if
any – is snail paced.

National Counter Terrorism Authority Act, 2013
Qadeer Tanoli, “Will the new body on NAP suffer NACTA’s fate,” Express Tribune, August 21, 2016. Accessed on
September 12, 2016, http://tribune.com.pk/story/1165582/will-new-body-nap-suffer-nactas-fate/

b. Lack of Manpower

No service rules have been prepared by NACTA due to which fresh

recruitments cannot be made33. Only the Chief of NACTA Mr. Ihsan Ghani
has been appointed and is acting as the face and body of the Authority. Against
a sanctioned strength of 34 officers, only 10 posts have been filled. None of
the Grade 20 and Grade 21 posts are yet filled34. Out of a total strength of
206 sanctioned posts only 60 are filled out of which 50 such posts are non-
officers (such as staff, clerks etc)35. A “modern” NACTA website which was
launched with much aplomb has little to no information36.

c. Budget Allocation

The allocation of budget to NACTA over the years has been a reflection of
the Government’s seriousness towards putting the Authority to its full,
intended use. For the year 2016-17, a budget of only Rs. 109.42million has
been allocated to it despite its demand of Rs. 1.8billion 37 . Even more
troublesome was the situation for the year 2015-16 when despite allocation of
millions to other counter terrorism measures such as forming additional wings
for the Civil Armed Forces to provide security to Chinese nationals and
allocations towards the Safe City Project in Islamabad, nothing was allocated
to NACTA. This fact was confirmed by an official from the Interior

Amir Wasim, “Nacta is functioning without formal staff, Senate told,” Dawn, November 11, 2015. Accessed on
June 10, 2016, http://www.dawn.com/news/1219112
“Nacta needs men and money to fight terror,” The News, March 11, 2015. Accessed on June 10, 2016,
Tariq Pervez, “NACTA, nay activated,” Conflict and Peace Studies: Comprehensive Review of National Action Plan
7, no. 2 (July-Dec, 2015), 56
“Nothing new on NACTA website,” Dawn, February 2, 2016. Accessed on June 12, 2016,
Qadeer Tanoli, “NACTA assigned only Rs. 109.42m in budget,” The Express Tribune, June 5, 2016. Accessed on
June 15, 2016, http://tribune.com.pk/story/1116544/just-fraction-nacta-assigned-rs109-42m-budget/

Ministry38. This is reflective of the attitude of the Government’s sustained
attitude towards counter terrorism in that it appears to think that piecemeal
and fragmented measures are enough to combat the threat to internal security.
It has steered clear of investing resources towards a more holistic approach to
address the issue, NACTA being a key player in any such over-arching

d. Scope too wide

A perusal of the functions assigned to NACTA under the NACTA Act (as in
the foregoing section) reveals that NACTA may just have too many eggs in
its basket39. The NACTA Act has bestowed a number of general yet varying
functions on NACTA without much of a roadmap. To make NACTA
entirely functional the BoG and the Executive Council will need to delineate
the responsibilities, form specialized units, man such units with the right
people and most importantly, will need to lay down the structure, mechanism
and SOPs for its liaison function. This appears to be quite a task to be
shouldered by the executive government. However, the task is still the
responsibility of the Government’s and it must be executed.

Imran Mukhtar, “No funds for NACTA in budget,” The Nation¸ June 07, 2015. Accessed on June 10, 2016,
Interview with Mr Tariq Khosa, IG Balochistan: Annex D.



1. Most of Punjabi militants have their roots in the Afghan jihad of 1980s40: after
the afghan war these militants shifted their focus on Kashmir cause in 1990s.
However, there emerged many hardliner Sunni groups with sectarian hues who
attacked Shia population specifically. In reaction to that Shia terrorist groups were
formed mainly through funding from Iran so the decade of 90s saw one of the most
vicious sectarian battle in Punjab. Even though most of these sectarian groups had
links to militants in FATA and Afghanistan, their focus remained on Kashmir and
anti-shia attacks. In May 2012 CM Punjab admitted that south was a breeding ground
for terrorists but did not admit that there were terrorist organizations active in other
parts of the province. Terrorism in Punjab is often labelled as a problem of the
south.41 The ground reality is quite different. Special branches of Rawalpindi and
Islamabad police have reported that TTP gets active financial and logistical support
from 20 Deobandi seminaries of the twin cities. Most of these organizations have
now expanded their network to urban centres where they have permeated
educational institutions. In Dec 2015 security agencies arrested two faculty members
and one student of Punjab university for their links with the terrorist organizations42.
A student of LUMS University was arrested in Jan 2016 for terrorist links43.

2. Militancy in Punjab

Attack on the crowd gathered to watch Wahgah border parade ceremony in

November 2014, killed 60 people 44 . On 15th March 2015 two suicide bombers

Interview with Additional Inspector General Punjab police, Mr Hussain Habib.
Interview with the Additional Secretary Home Department, Colonel Wajahat Hamdani.
42 http://www.dawn.com/news/1226297
43 http://dailymessenger.com.pk/2016/01/13/lums-student-arrested-over-pathankot-air-base-attack/
44 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29871077

attacked churches in Youhanabad neighborhood of Lahore killing 15 people and
injuring 17 others45. In August 2015 Home Minister of Punjab Shuja Khanzada was
killed in a suicide attack in his hometown of Attack along with 16 others46. On a
Sunday evening in May 2016, in the famous Gulshan-e-Iqbal park a suicide bomber
killed 72 innocent citizens47. For all these attacks TTP or its affiliated groups claimed
responsibility. These gruesome attacks show that Punjab has a militancy problem
which cannot be ignored. The political leadership of Punjab has been very reluctant
to acknowledge or even talk about the militancy problem. For the very same reason,
a specific point about militancy in Punjab was included in the National Action Plan
stating that no space would be given to extremism in any part of Punjab.

3. Admission of The problem

It happened for the first time that the political leadership of Punjab admitted the
presence of militant network in Punjab. However even after this admission the
seriousness of provincial government in tackling the militancy issue is questionable.
In a report prepared by the Interior Ministry about NAP implementation, three
months after its announcement it was mentioned that the Punjab government is
actively pursuing the NAP objectives and working towards de-weaponisation and
de-radicalization of the province48. The report did not mention what steps were taken
in the preceding three months and did not talk about how the de-weaponisation and
de-radicalization of the province is to be achieved. This lack of clarity and the
vagueness of report show that even after admitting the terrorist problem the
provincial government is still reluctant to actively pursue National Action Plan.
According to an official of Home Department Punjab, the lack of political will is the

45 http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/03/21/features/youhanabad-incident/
46 http://www.dawn.com/news/1200807
47 http://nation.com.pk/national/27-Mar-2016/at-least-15-injured-in-gulshan-iqbal-blast-in-lahore
48 Khawar Ghumman, “NAP report indicates little progress on key fronts,” Dawn, April 3, 2015

biggest hurdle in the implementation of NAP in Punjab and without this will, the
promise of zero tolerance for militancy in Punjab would remain a farce 49. The last
time the provincial government took the problem seriously was in late 1990s when
the sectarian attacks rocked the province and that too with a limited vigour.

4. State of Inaction
For the last 15 years the Punjab based militants have never been in focus, no policy
about them was devised. The only policy being followed was to have no policy and
no serious action has ever been taken against them. The focus has been on fighting
Pakistani Taliban and similar groups in FATA and adjoining areas. The second place
where serious steps have been taken to fight militants is Karachi (even though many
of these steps are still ineffective). Right after the framing of NAP Interior minister
stated that 95 terrorist organizations are working in Punjab. This was quite a
significant increase as compared to what government officials had been stating
earlier about the number of terrorist organizations in Punjab 50 (earlier figures
mentioned were 50-60). These militant groups have been in Punjab for last so many
years and even though most of these groups are based in the southern part of the
province they have been successful in spreading their network all over the province.
Even with 95 active organizations in the province there are no signs of urgency from
the provincial government. When it comes to terrorist network in Punjab the federal
government has conveniently shut its eyes. Portraying this as denial would be naïve,
this is pure political expediency. These 95 organization along with the vast
madrassah network in Punjab forms the core troubling area of the militant problem
in Pakistan.

49 Interview with Additional Secretary Home Department Annex 1

50 Khawar Ghumman, “95 banned groups active in Punjab,” Dawn, January 15, 2015.

5. The inaction is due to political expediency, fear of retaliation or due to the ill-
conceived idea of the provincial government that it can co-exist with these terrorist
organizations. The idea is ill conceived because most of the attacks in the country,
no matter where they happen, have a link to the organizations in Punjab. Most of
these attacks were carried out by a nexus of TTP, Al Qaeda and Punjabi Taliban, in
addition to the four gruesome attacks conducted by this nexus mentioned earlier, the
nexus also carried out many attacks in major cities like Marriott bombing, data
durbar bombing ,Parade Lane attack ,attacks on FIA and Police building in Lahore ,
Moon market attack ,attack on GHQ and the list goes on. All these attacks and
bombing plots carried signatures of Punjab based groups. Attacks on military
installations in Karachi and on Shia hazaras in Quetta also bear signs of involvement
of Punjab based groups51.

6. Proliferation of militant organizations in the province

Except for the death of Malik Ishaq (the head of notorious LeJ) along with his two
sons in July 2015, the provincial government has very little to show for its anti-terror
efforts. 147 seminaries in Punjab are receiving foreign funding, this was stated by
IGP in front of senate committee in March 201552. The provincial government in
august 2015 stated in a report that out of 13,782 only 6,479 madrassahs are registered
while the rest 7,303 remain unregistered53. Even though the home department claims
to have geo tagged all these madrassahs, the failure of the provincial government to
complete simple and basic process of registration of these madrassahs shows its level
of non-commitment to the anti-terrorist cause.54 The report outlined no strategy to
overhaul the madrassah education system or on how the government is going to

51 Zahid Hussain, “Tackling militancy in Punjab,” Dawn, December 31, 2014

52 http://www.dawn.com/news/1167339
53 http://tribune.com.pk/story/931249/number-crunching-nearly-half-of-punjabs-seminaries-are-unregistered/
Interview with the Additional Chief Secretary,Punjab, Mr Shamyl Khwaja Annex 2.

achieve hundred percent registrations. The report also does not tell us anything about
monitoring or evaluation of this vast network of madrassahs. These madrassahs have
provided sleeper cells to many terrorists, for the same reason after 9/11 many Al
qaeda members were arrested from urban centers of Punjab. Even when the
government is sure that a certain madrassah is involved in terrorism it does not do
anything about it , 20 madrassahs identified by the special branch of police in twin
cities have faced no action55 . Same goes for the vast madrassah network in the rest
of the province. According to daily Dawn the inaction on part of the government is
due to protests by the religious groups, many of the madrassahs are unwilling to
register as the registration form requires that they reveal their source of funding. A
government failing to acquire such a basic knowledge of source of funding of an
institution that might be involved in anti state activities speaks scores about the non
competency of the government. It seems like that the provincial government has
given a tacit assurance to the protesting religious groups that no action would be
taken against their madrassahs.

7. Anti-terror efforts following NAP

In a report submitted to the PM office three months after NAP, provincial
government stated that it had conducted 14,791 security operations, arrested 2798
people, 3214 people were booked under loudspeaker act and 707 cases of hate
speech were registered. More people were put under fourth schedule under Anti-
Terrorism Act 1997, hence increasing the overall number to 170056. Another report
was prepared by the interior ministry by the end of March in which the only progress
shown about Punjab was that it is actively pursuing government’s policy. Both these
reports did not tell how the provincial government is going to holistically tackle this

55 Dawn editorial titled “Government’s confusion,” published on March 10, 2015.

56 http://tribune.com.pk/story/860426/32347-arrested-28826-operations-conducted-under-nap-report/

militancy issue and how it plans to deal with the arrested persons and whether the
arrested people are terrorists or not. Even the high numbers of arrests seem to have
failed to deter terrorists from attacking again. Actually most of these people were
low ranked members of banned organizations and had no role in policy making, not
even a single high profile leader was arrested. Even those arrested were released
soon (mostly by courts on first hearing because of a lack of evidence). This shows
the provincial government is not serious at all about convicting even low ranked
members of banned organizations. The crackdown following NAP led to arrests of
600 members of LeJ but almost all were released without conviction. Conviction
rate is the major problem as the law enforcement agencies fail to produce proofs
against terrorists in the court. Even after facing this problem repeatedly the
provincial government has no plan to improve this dismal conviction rate. According
to police officials, arrests followed by immediate release are counter-productive.

8. Selective approach of provincial government has also been highlighted by

many. A half-hearted attempt was made to arrest LeJ members; however, no such
step was taken against Jamaat-U- Dawa having its centres in Lahore and Muridke.
According to a report of ICG the distinction between good and bad Taliban still
continues in Pakistan and many of these good Taliban reside in Punjab57 .The Punjab
government claims that it is committed to anti-terror cause however security experts
are skeptic about this claim. According to Hassan Askari Rizwi, a leading security
analyst, PML- N being a right wing party would never take action against militants
and some of party members still retain their links with members of banned
organizations58 . IG Punjab said in May 2016 that due to lack of resources police
cannot tackle militancy issue alone. Same stance comes from the provincial

57 International Crisis Group, “Revisiting Counter-terrorism Strategies in Pakistan: Opportunities and Pitfalls,” Asia Report No.
271, July 22, 201
58 http://tribune.com.pk/story/1033423/pakistans-tryst-with-counter-terrorism/

government however according to experts’ lack of will, clarity and planning is the
problem and not the lack of resources.




1. Madrassas have been the premier form of tutoring available to the Muslims
from pre partition times imparting knowledge of not just religious jurisprudence but
covering science and humanities as well. Over the years however Madrassas have
regressed into as platforms solely dedicated to equipping their students with
religious education. Pakistani Madrassas have time and again been targeted by the
West as breeding grounds of fundamentalists which are bitterly criticized for playing
havoc with the security of Pakistan and posing a threat to Western powers 59 .
Rampant mushrooming of Madrassas in Pakistan is traced to Zia Ul Haq's regime60
when foreign funding led to an unprecedented rise in the number of such seminaries
providing food, shelter and training to their students installing in them the ultimate
spirit of Jihad.
2. The Societies Registration Act 1860 formally recognizes Madrassas as
religious institutions which include a Jamia, Dar-Ul-Uloom, school, college or
university functioning primarily to impart religious education and may provide food
and accommodation as well. Education being devolved as a provincial subject after
the 18th amendment makes it imperative for the provincial government to follow the
national narrative on Madrassas reforms, regulation and registration to monitor these
informal yet formidable channels of disseminating education
shaping impressionable, and innocent minds of the illiterate and impoverished

Pildat Youth Parliament Pakistan Standing Committee on Education and Youth Affairs report: Madrassa
Education 2014: Challenges, Reforms and Possibilities.
Babar Ayaz, “ What’s wrong with Pakistan”, 2013.

3. Challenges
a. Numbers game:
The foremost challenge faced by the government of Pakistan in general and
by the Government of Punjab in particular is the underestimated and
undermined questionable total of these seminaries thriving and strengthening
in the local system. In March 2010 number of madrasah registered with the
government were 19,104 but the estimated range is 20,000 to 30,000 while at
the time of partition only 245 Madrassas existed in Pakistan. These religious
schools cater to 2.5 to 3 million students and employ thousands of Mullahs as
teachers, mentors and instructors. UK Department for International
Development calls for systemic and statistic information to bridge the gaps in
knowledge and curriculum being imparted at these Madrassas and mandates
an accurate estimate of madrasah enrolled students, students with regards to
their employability prospects after madrasah modernization reforms. 62

b. Registration:
Registration of religious seminaries with the government agencies is looked
up as a tedious, cumbersome process with strong suspicion of data sharing
with international agencies. The reluctance is primarily at the disclosure of
funding sources and stringent monetary monitoring especially after terrorist
linkages with foreign funded seminaries. 63
The madrasah registration system under the Societies Registration Act of
1860 was amended in 2005 during Musharraf’s regime making the

M. Ismail Khan, “Inside the Booming Madrassa Economy,” The News, July 21, 2007.
DFID Policy Brief 1-2009, www.assets.publishing.services.gov.uk.
Muhammad Aamir Rana,”Choking Financing for Militants in Pakistan.” Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Challenge,

registration an obligatory act warranting strict vigil on finances and verifying
audit etc. Government's attempt to regulate and control such madrasahs was
seen eminent and more and more madrasahs were registered; however even
more illegal and unregistered sprang up escaping the checks of the
government. 64 Despite existence of by-laws various Madrassa boards had
infiltrated the capital city with reluctance from the political and administrative
heads to curb this unbridled growth with an iron hand fearing the law and
order situation to worsen in attempt to bring down any such seminary. 65

c. Funding:
Punjab alone receives 74% of funding for its madrasahs through foreign
sources while 34% comes from zakat. According to the Special Branch of
Police the Punjab government does offer subsidies for madrasah improvement
but this constitutes a negligible amount of monetary inflow the horse share of
that constitutes private donors and international funding. This remains the
government’s main task to trace the funding source. The funding allegedly
stems from particular countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait etc which
further their own politico religious agenda through these seminaries.
d. Human Resource Development:
Madrasahs lack capacity in terms of pedagogical techniques of teaching and
harnessing young minds potential to optimum intellectual levels and
channelizing their energy towards positive and constructive avenues of
learning and development66. Moreover, teachers at madrasahs are ill equipped

“Number crunching: Nearly half of Punjab’s seminaries are unregistered,” Express Tribune, August 3, 2015.
Interview with the ACS Punjab, Mr Shamyl Khwaja: Annex B.
Zahid Shahab Ahmed, “Madrassa”, Peace Prints: South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, (2)(1): Autumn 2009.

and under qualified to be taking on this serious task of molding young
inquisitive minds.
Madrassah teachers are not selected via any formal means, have little or no
critical appreciation towards topics of fundamental values, have scanty
applied knowledge in the practical realms augmented by zero tolerance
attitude which causes frustration manifesting as frequent resorts to corporal
punishment. This has detrimental psychological ramifications on the young
students many of which either rebel and quit while a significant majority stays
on living under the constant fear of bullying, badgering and beating
undermining their self-esteem and self-confidence. Society for Protection of
Rights of Children (SPARC) has revealed a glaring figure of 83% of madrasah
students subject to corporal punishment most of these brutal physical
punishments and assaults go unreported.

e. Curriculum:
Various madrasah boards operating in the country subscribe to various sects,
cults, schools of thought and instruments of foreign funding. They resort to
dogmatic religious preaching without imparting any background knowledge,
theoretical framework or practical applicability of the concepts. Mostly the
madrasahs resort to rote learning of the Arabic texts. So much so is the
deviance from the prescribed religious spirit of tolerance that militancy is
bluntly advocated and violence is employed as a portent tool to further the
subscribed religious hues.67

4. Launch of National Action Plan

Tariq Rehman, “Denizens of Alien Worlds”, 2005.

The 20-point National Action Plan included the reforms and regulations of
Madrassas to be a pertinent policy guideline in the right direction to eradicate the
menace of terrorism, militancy and sectarianism by streamlining the hubs of
dissemination of religious thought. This was a scathing mockery of the failure of the
already promulgated Pakistan Madrassah Education Board Ordinance 2001, and the
Madrassah Registration and Control Ordinance of 2002.
5. Post NAP Madrasah Malady- Ground Realities:
The government has very rightly diagnosed the malady yet a logical coherent
strategy to implement the treatment is lacking. The five Madrassah boards known as
wafaqs operating privately in the country and headed by religious elites are to be
registered with the government. Some Madrassahs in the country register with one
of these five boards and some directly register with the government; yet there are
innumerable Madrassahs which are registered with neither. Such independently
functioning seminaries are about 8000 to 10000 across the country. 68 With the
launch of NAP, religious seminaries have come under stronger vigil. Intelligence
and law enforcement agencies are probing tirelessly into the unregistered seminaries
and investigating their links with terrorist networks all through the country. Punjab
in particular has furnished a list last year stating the existence of about 13782
Madrassahs in Punjab of which 6479 are unregistered while others 7303 are
registered.69 Other sources unveiled the presence of 147 foreign funded seminaries.

6. Government's Initiatives:
The apex committees constituted to monitor the progress on the NAP points have
been silent even well after one and a half year of its launch. Few endeavors in this
regard include however the formulation of a one-time form for Madrassah

Mujtaba Rathore, “Registration of Madraasah and the NAP,” Conflict and Peace Studies (PIPS) 94.
Interview with the Additional Secretary, Internal Security, Col. Wajahat Hamdani.

registration, a handful of seminaries' search operations and abstract unregistered
Madrasaah identification. Initially meetings took place between the government and
the Madrassah authorities regarding the new registration form but have reached a
stalemate, though the ministry of religious affairs continues to be in touch with the
Madrasaah authorities to work out on an acceptable registration process. Minister of
Religious Affairs has shown his resolve for revamping the Madrassah education,
streamlining Madrasaah registration and facilitating these seminaries.70
The minister alluded to the revival of the Pakistan Madrassa Education Board
(PMEB) initially established under the Musharraf regime in 2001 to revamp the
orthodox seminaries putting in new curriculum aligned with his agenda of "
enlightened moderation " in an attempt to root out terrorism.71 The PEMB under new
management vows to modernize these madrasahs by firstly bringing into its ambit
those Madrasaahs not affiliated with any of the five religious board and operating
independently. A state-run and state-sponsored board could help this cause by
introducing standard government curricula. The federal government had rolled out
the idea of establishing Islamic Education Commission an equivalent of Higher
Education Commission to oversee, regulate and scrutinize seminaries all over the
country attesting degrees and courses offered at seminaries. This however could not
materialize so far.

Ashraf Malkam, “Madrassah reform continues to be ignore,” The News, May 5, 2015.
Zia Ur Rehman, “Fresh efforts being made to affiliate Madrassas with PEMB,” The News, June 26,2015.

7. Failure of the Government:
Provincial governments are taking steps to register Madrassahs but their efforts have
fallen short due to a lack of central coherent and tangible policy regarding the same.72
Punjab government alongside furnishing figures for the registered and unregistered
seminaries claims to have geotagged all seminaries. Despite geotagging, if
government has not been able to have those successfully registered, monitored and
regulated, the purpose of the exhaustive exercise is all in vain. 73 The Punjab
government has estimated that about 480 foreign students are enrolled in the
seminaries operating in the province and speculated the sanction of authorized visas
to an excess of 400 students enrolled in Madrasah.74

8. Critical Appraisal
A plan which is not translated into action remains only good intentions75. A strategy
furthering the motives of the plan building into itself key driving factors clearly
enunciating the operating and key performance indicators the benchmarks against
which performance is judged the plan, the policy and the promises largely remain an
abstraction. The aforementioned challenges emanating from the unbridled growth of
Madrassahs could only be neatly addressed by just focusing on Madrassah
registration.76. Only when this feat is achieved concomitant statutory obligation is
levied on the registered entity and its sponsors by way of governance, financial
accountability, and responsibility towards the society.77. The government has so far

Interview with Additional Secretary, Internal Security, Home Department, Punjab, Col. Wajahat Hamdani: Annex
Interview with the Additional Chief Secretary, Punjab, Mr Shamyl Khwaja: Annex B.
Nasir Jamal, “Footprints: Madrassahs: Still a class apart,” Dawn, July 24,2015.-
Peter F.Drucker, “Management”, Collins and Harper, 1979.
Mujtaba Rathore, “Madraasah reforms: the debate,” Conflict and Peace Studies (PIPS)7(1): 25-42.
Ali Saleem, “Islam and Education: Conflict and Conformity in Pakistan’s Madrassas “, Oxford University Press,

failed terribly in furthering the cause of streamlining the Madrasaah into a legal
formidable state institution due to the following factors:

9. Firstly, the notorious bureaucratic delays in focusing on just solely the

registration and opening up of many fronts regarding various aspects of Madrsaah
education have complicated the situation even more.78 No coordinating mechanism
with effective monitoring and evaluation exists among the various arms of the
government endowed with the task of streamlining Madrasaahs. Ministry of
Religious Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Intelligence and Law
Enforcement Agencies are the major stakeholders in this important task. Each one
acting in isolation has proved impotent in establishing the uniformity of command
and has failed to achieve concrete tangible results in terms of one single objective-
the registration of illegally operating seminaries. NACTA needs to take its role and
a directorate envisioned under it could significantly turn out the Madrassah
outcome79. Based on media reports, the Madrassah registration issue is seen by a
committee of bureaucrats belonging to various departments like education, interior
and religious affairs departments. Since no coherent policy with explicitly stated
objectives is the shared goal of these departments the committee remains divided on
this pertinent issue and loses its purpose and relevance.80
10. Furthermore, the public sector has not aligned all efforts with the commercial
banks against the fraudulent transactions and absence of effective surveillance into
the accounts of non-tax filers and non-identifiable persons. With easy money
transfers and use fake CNIC numbers for values less than PKR 100,000 results in
rapid transfers to these persons without any notice of the state. Anti-money

Interview with the Additional Secretary Internal Security Col Wajahat Hamdani: Annex A
Interview with Mr Babar Hayat Tarar, Commissioner Sahiwal: Annex C.
Mujtaba Rathore, “Registration of Madrassas and NAP”, Conflict and Peace Studies (PIPS) 96.

laundering laws do exist with the SBP making its enforcement obligatory on all
commercial banks. These lacunae (such as hawala, hundi and easy sending of
money) exist at prime spots whereby these terrorist ingresses into securities and
exchange companies with easy wiring of funds on a regular basis. 81 Lack of a
centralized system with reliable identification criterion makes the funds transfer
quite easy and untraceable. This alarming situation calls for a state-of-the-art
technologically driven integrated safe application conjoining the transfer funds with
validated ID bringing on board a coordination with all stakeholders. The frequency
of transfers in a particular locale through a particular medium could be easily picked
up with high corroborative element of suspicion purporting to the geotagged location
of a dubious seminary.

11. Secondly, in absence of any stringent legislation in place to ensure strict

compliance, the religious authorities directly resist the registration process82. Trust
deficit exists immensely between the Madrasah authorities and the government with
the former having serious qualms and reservations about the government's unilateral
procedure. The central body of religious educational institutions, The Ittehad
Tanzeemat-E-Madaaris (ITM) strongly condemn this registration process as a move
" against Madrassahs and religion". The government has remained unsuccessful in
winning over the confidence of the Madrasaah authorities and develop a national
consensus over security issues and develop a consciousness of a kind about this
parallel system to education to formalize it info mainstream education flow.
Similarly, the Madrassah authorities are apprehensive of letting in the law enforcing
agencies within their premises for search operations. Foreign outcry by a friendly
Muslim country Saudi Arabia has further supported the local stance on this

Interview with AS Internal Security, Col Wajahat Hamdani: Annex A.
Sultan Ali,” Madrassah Reform and State Power”,FNF, 2012.

resistance and reluctance. Wafaq-Ul-Madaaris Al-Arabia called for country wide
protests against such search operations asking the government to stop them
immediately. 83

12. Thirdly, the government is indecisive as to how to go about implementing this

registration and regulation provisos fearing greatly the backlash from the Madraaah
authorities. Lack of clarity on the part of the government is adding fuel to the fire,
as no cogent strategy is effectively chalked out for meaningful coordination among
the stakeholders as discussed before. To put this into tangible terms an operational
framework taking on board all the stakeholders and end users need to be clearly
defined. Despite tall claims of geotagging and technological revolution in Punjab
especially the government remains divorced from the ground realities not aptly
coordinating with its executive administrators in every district and tehsil. The
mandate and criterion of the Intelligence and Law Enforcing Agencies remains in
dark thus exacerbating the trust deficit and evoking direct resistance from the
Madrasaah Authorities. Lack of a national consensus in absence of a national
narrative to strike at the root cause of this menace the public remains ignorant of the
efforts of the government thus does not extend unremitting and undying support to
the government incentives and actions. Instead all government actions are seen
acrimoniously as anti-religious. Thus the religious sentiment of the masses is easily
palpable and the backlash is inevitable. Fourthly, lack of political will and resolve
underscores the entire reforms agenda which has not been a direct consequence of
NAP but has been on national priority for decades. The conundrum of political
parties which is dominated by similar families coming into power one after another
have all flouted manifestos promoting religious tolerance, enjoining inter sect

“Discontent as raids on seminaries continue,” Dawn, August 8, and 2015.

harmony and pledging unison of all parallel educational systems. However, these
tall claims supplemented with little or no action is read as only good intentions which
without any commitment to action is a failure. Lack of political will and resolve to
address this focal root cause of sprawling terrorism and thriving terrorist sanctuaries.
Foreign hand which is often more than less incriminated as playing havoc with the
terrorist activities carried out in the country in general and Punjab in particular is
made operational through the unregistered, unregulated, safe havens conveniently
termed as "religious seminaries".

National Action Plan though hastily framed and ostensibly rolled out has been under
the fire for under two years now for lack for deliberations yet it has the consensus of
all stakeholders which makes this a pertinent and living document84. Though it is not
a plan in real sense as its objectives have not been carefully thought through with
sufficient performance yardsticks and objectively results are not measured under it.
Despite the lack of Key Performance Indicators and Operational Performance
Indicators the document is instrumental in selling and instilling hope for a secure
future. This feature makes this document all the more critical to be evaluated,
monitored and appraised in terms of whether any strategy ensues from it or it remains
an elusive vison of the ruling government.85 The panacea of setting into momentum
progress on the 20 essential points of the NAP lies in fully and freely allowing
NACTA to assume its core functions as per the NACTA ACT 2013.86 The act itself
makes this an overarching body catering to a wide array effective counter terrorism
policy formulation, logistical support and intelligence hub bringing forth the much
needed counter narrative alongside a potent and cogent national counter extremism
policy.87 Concerted efforts from stake holders in pursuance of kinetic, non-kinetic,
hard and soft measures is the need of the hour by strengthening NACTA. 88Only
when the government will remove social injustice and develop the human capital
raising standards of living of the Pakistani populace, the hawkish elements influence
on downtrodden impoverished masses will come to an end. Having said this the

Interview with ACS Punjab, Shamyl Khwaja: Annex B.
Interview with Mr Moeed Yusuf, Associate Vice President, Asia Center, United States Institute of Peace: Annex D.
Interview with Mr Babar Hayat Tarar, Commissioner Sahiwal: Annex C.
Interview with Mr Tariq Khosa, Ex IG Balochistan: Annex D.

document does sell hope89 and needs to be improvised, monitored and evaluated on
a regular basis to take its evolutionary course to deliver as mandated90.

Interview with ACS,Punjab Mr.Shamyl Khwaja: Annex B.
Interview with Associate Vice President, US Institute of Peace, Mr Moeed Yusuf: Annex E.

1. After the analysis of visible fault lines in the internal security mosaic and
external security situation following are recommended:-
a. NACTA to be reactivated, revamped and put into operation by amending
NACTA Act 2013 placing it directly under the Prime Minister Secretariat.
b. NACTA to be entrusted with devising a counter narrative and associated
departments to be agglomerated around NACTA.
c. Soft measures such as social development be emphasised on across the
country to strike at the root cause of this menace.
d. Police to be strengthened as first tier of responders to any terrorist treat and
CTD and other ancillary information sharing agencies liaison with police
to be made exact.
e. NAP to be revisited time and again and rectified in terms of cogent,
intelligible ground realities.
f. No tolerance attitude to be shown to unregistered seminaries and at the
earliest an overhaul in the Madrassah culture ought to be brought about.
g. Political leadership must develop clarity on the set objectives and think
them through fully for implementation.
h. Foreign office must play a pivotal role in projecting a soft image of
Pakistan abroad and holding a defensive diplomatic front against unruly

Primary Sources
1. Mr. Tariq Khosa, Retired IGP Balochistan
2. Mr Shamyl Khwaja, ACS Punjab.
3. Mr Babar Hayat Tarar, Commissioner Sahiwal.
4. Mr Ali Aamir Malik, MD Punjab Safe Cities Authority.
5. Mr Hussain Habib, AIG Punjab.
6. Col. Wajahat Hamdani, AS Internal Security, Home Department, Punjab.
7. Mr Moeed Yusuf, Associate Vice President, US Institute of Peace.
Secondary Sources

1. Christine Fair and Sarah J. Watson, Pakistan's Enduring

Challenges,University of Pennsylvania press.
2. Kevin Hubert, The Cipher Brief,
3. Major General Muhammad Yaqub Khan, “Terrorism, its Dynamics and
Response Option for Pakistan”, Pakistan Army Green Book (2014): 47
4. Para Din, “Pak-Iran Relation Since 1947”, in “Pakistan Iran Relations in
Historical Perspective”, edited by Dr Syed Minhaj ul Hassan and Sayyed
Abdolhossain Raeisossadat.( Peshawer: Culture Centre of the Islamic
Republic of Iran 2004) p 157.
5. Ehsanullah Aryanzai, Afghan Government advisor, stated on April 2, 2009,
Ms. Iffat Pervaz, ISSRA’s Discourse on Afghanistan Conflict,

6. Haroon Yousaf Raja, Karachi in darkness and soaked in blood,
7. Usman Ali Khan, India, Pakistan relations: ending terrorism, myths and
blame game.
8. 1998 Census Report of Pakistan, Govt of Pakistan.

9. Comprehensive Review of NAP by PIPS Islamabad

http//www.cssforum.pk/css-compulsory subjects/current affairs/106616-
comprehensive-review-national-action-plan-html accessed on 22 June, 2016
10. Comprehensive Review of NAP by PIPS Islamabad
http//www.cssforum.pk/css-compulsory subjects/current affairs/106616-
comprehensive-review-national-action-plan-html accessed on 22 June, 2016
11. Khan Amir and Amar Saeed, in Comprehensive Review of National Action
Plan, Pakistan institute for Peace Studies, Islamabad, Volume 7, July –Dec.
12. Madaris in Pakistan”, Express Tribune, January 18, 2015
13. More Work Left to be Done – DG ISPR’ Dawn.com 13 Feb 2016 accessed
on 21 June, 2016
14. National Internal Security Policy: An Analysis, Pakistan Institute of
Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT).
15. ‘Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Policy’, Ahmed Saffee, Institute of Strategy
16. Pakistan Security Report 2015, Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.
17. PILDAT Youth Parliament 2014 Committee on Education and Youth Affairs
report on Madrassah: Problems, Challenges and Reforms.
18. PIPS data base on conflict and security http//san-

19. Revisiting Counter – Terrorism Strategies in Pakistan: Opportunities &
Pitfall, Asia Report, International Crisis Group, Belgium.
20. Shehzad Akbar in Conflict & Peace Studies, Edited by Rana, Amir Vol 7
Autumn, 2015, Pak Institute of Peace Studies, Islamabad.
21. Strategy to Combat Terrorism, Burki Institute of Public Policy.
22. Tariq Pervaiz in Comprehensive Review of National Action Plan, Edited by
Muhammad Amir Rana, Pakistan institute for Peace Studies, Islamabad,
Volume 7, July –Dec. 2015)
23. http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/web-edits/balochistan-
24. IranTracker. Ariel Farrar-Wellman, Robert Frasco’Pakistan-Iran Foreign
Relations’ [cited 5 July 2010] Available from www.irantracker.org/foreign-
25. http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/web-edits/balochistan-
26. Dredging Today. Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury. Indian keen to develop
Chahbahar Port[cited 27 July 2010].Available at
27. James Dobbins, US special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan,
28. http://foreignpolicynews.org/2015/07/25/india-pakistan-relations-ending-
of-86-key-suspects/South Asia Terrorism Portal,
htmHow drones create more terrorist,
create-more-terrorists/278743/South Asia Terrorism Portal,




(Q1) How is the internal security with respect to the threat perspective in
(A1) There has been marked improvement in internal security in Punjab especially
after the Zarb-e-Azab and the promulgation of the National Action Plan. Marked
improvement is seen as graph for terrorist attacks have significantly come down in
Punjab. Terrorists attacks as those at Gulshan Iqbal Park, Police Station and Wahga
border have all occurred after the commencement of operation Zarb-e-Azab but the
factor constant in all these is the hand of reactionary militants based in the North as
TTP has always claimed the responsibility of these suicide attacks.

(Q2) How are NAP provisions followed up in the province of Punjab?

(A2) NAP is fully being implemented at the provincial government level. It is
composed of 20 points and 16 are related to us. Points pertaining to us are those of
Law and Order enforcement. There has been specified focus on it in wake of NAP
and new laws have been made. In this threat environment specific measures are taken
by each district government with effective inter and intra sectoral coordination
across the board.

(Q3) How effectively has Punjab addressed the Madrassah enigma?

(A3) Punjab had long ago been under the impression that madrasahs are no go areas.
This myth has been busted. 537 madrasahs at will have been searched and literature
and other material recovered and prosecuted accordingly. The data for the number
of madrasahs was variable among various agencies. ISI claimed it to be 18 thousand
while Pakistan army estimate 12 thousand. We in Punjab for the first time in history
under the NAP geotagged the Madrasahs. It is the requirement of Wafaq-Ul-Madaris
that a new registration form be created and circulated by the federal government.
However there have been grave reservations of the Madrasah authorities and data is
grossly missing. A two three pager form was floated by the federal government and
approved by Punjab but consensus from other provinces in not attained yet as it still
lies with the National Assembly. NACTA also held meeting with the federal
government to give its input regarding the same but so far no progress has been made
on that and the final version still would wait the approval of Ministry of Interior.
Political vote bank remains with the people who ascribe to the conventional role and
outlook of madrasah and resist any change by tooth and nail.
(Q4) How is the government improvising curriculum reforms?
(A4) Government has had reforms on its agenda for a long time. Education law is to
be modified to extend to cover such religious seminaries which ought to be
regularized from Grade 01 to 10 with subjects which are modified and applied
regular uniformly. This has to be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of
Religious Affairs in consultation with Secretary Auqaf which was carried out two to
three weeks ago. Punjab though having the infrastructure and resources to extend
this system of curriculum up gradation and homogenization in the province does not
want to go ahead with it as it does not want to be singled out. All provinces have to
unanimously agree to a certain curriculum which by ordinary parlance be
implemented by the federal directive throughout the country.

(Q5) What special measures if any are taken by Punjab to curb militancy as it
is categorically mentioned in the NAP?
(A5) Punjab has wrongly been singled out for militancy in NAP. A political
movement led by MQM motivated some dissenting elements in Punjab but they were
dealt with immediately. Almost 900 madrasahs were checked randomly but bone
had militancy. Only few Madrasahs in south were found to have connections with
terrorists and that too is attributed to immense poverty and unemployment in the
region which prompts people to take refuge in such seminaries which provide free
basic necessities of life to the ones enrolled. No link of these madrasahs to any recent
terror Attacks has been established to any marassah in southern Punjab.

(Q6) How is the coordination between various stakeholders to implement these

reforms and cut off illicit funding of Madrasahs?
(A6) Coordination across the board is satisfactory. FIA has held 4 meetings so far
and corrected the weak law existing for money laundering and has enforced stringent
principles of the Anti-Terrorism Act whereby the foreign funding has been curtailed
to a great extent. This is a federal subject and province alone cannot probe into STR
(Suspected Terror Accounts). All commercial banks are signatory to the rules and
regulations set by the State Bank of Pakistan and hardly any illegal foreign funds
transfer is via these formal banking channels. These terrorists however resort to the
non-official means of money transfer such as hawala and hundi etc. Good
coordination for prompt identification of suspects is carried with the help of the
biometric machines installed at almost all Police Stations. About 750 of these
devices are placed at the Police Stations in Punjab and the overall machines the
government bought is between 1000 to 1200 which are being optimally used at
sensitive areas to identify people.

(Q7) How does geo tagging avert this threat of militancy in Punjab?
(A7) Geotagging refers to an elaborate drill involving the on ground gathering of
real data which in the case of Madrasah include its location, configuration area, its
boundaries, number of day scholars and number of boarders, number of foreign
students, phone numbers and land use. This is done by employing the android
applications and in collaboration with PITB. Daily and monthly data was gathered
about seminaries assets including cars, equipment etc to estimate their turnover and
those registered were asked to show their accounts. Reconciliation of accounts
remains a big problem as the assets worth runs in millions while on books it is a
couple of hundred thousand. We have geotagged about 62678 mosques and about
2926 minority worship places in Punjab.
(Q8) How frequently does the provincial apex committee meet and how does it
monitor progress?
(A8) The apex committee meets every 7 to 8 months and it has adequate
representation from civil, political and military leadership. Chief Minister Punjab
himself is directly involved in monitoring the law the order situation in the province.
Military courts short list a few cases about 7 to 8 have been tried so far. High security
prison with state-of-the-art facilities exist at the Adyala Jail so it's a misnomer that
the government does not have logistical support to interrogate or keep arrested terror
suspects while handing them over to the military courts. Satisfactory security means
are taken and this is evident as many foreigners including Chinese are seen freely
moving around the province.
(Q9) Where do the flaws actually lie in the proper implantation of the points of
(A9) The fault lies in the law. NACTA is neither functional nor potent. It looks up
to ISI, MI, IB and IS for all its logistical and technological support. Mr Ghani has
just taken over as the Chairman NACTA and much is expected of him but with
meager budgetary allocation its role becomes greatly undermined and controversial.
Criminal Justice system needs to be revamped so that social justice could curb many
disparities and inequalities that elicit these knee jerk terrorist reactionary elements.
Streamlining as that of UK Charity Commission with the centralized data for its
trustees, name, purpose, structure and source of funding all explicitly spelled out for
seminaries should be done. This has been approved by the CM and the draft is not
seen the light of the day. Money Laundering needs to be adequately stopped and all
players ought to be made accountable under stringent law. Intelligible and easy
banking channels ought to be established for facilitating people in far flung areas so
as to furnish them with less cumbersome means of opening bank accounts and
receiving remittances through formal banking channels.
(Q10) How do you see the counter terrorism efforts in Punjab?
(A10) Counter terrorism in Punjab has seen tremendous progress. 1200 corporal
officers with salary to the tune of PKR 75000 per month are appointed and these
people are highly qualified and have a substantial number of females. Dovetailing
of BSc and MSc is the conspicuous feature of this Counter Terrorism Department so
that these highly qualified people look at the technical aspects and form strategic
measures for threat mitigation.
(Q11) What do you see as security challenges in Punjab?
(A11) There is both the internal security mosaic and the external security threat.
External threats are important at the federal level but do not constitute much of a
threat in Punjab. Poor level of measures are taken for safety by the federal
government due to its limited capacity (IB, ISI, MI ) throughout Pakistan.
Baluchistan apex committee met in Quetta and mentioned LeJ and the common
consensus was it is in Punjab. This is not true as 14 months for now their leader
Malik Ishaq was dead and 16 individuals found to be involved with him were also
reader down and the few remaining followers that he had are on run. So the myth of
proscribed organization has been busted. ISIS footprints were found in Gujranwala,
Sialkot. These were not organized but got all hype in social media. Linkages were
traced to being forged on the Internet. The AlHuda act too was an individual act.
Desirous red threat alert level has ensured no organized collective threat pops up.
There has been a ban on tableeghi preaching in education institutions. Almost
10,09332 alleged accused people have to be proved to be enrolled at their seminaries.


Q1: What is the way forward for Madraasah Registration and Regulation?
Ans: Madrassah regulation and registration is a fairly complex and formidable
challenge. Contrary to the common belief it has not evolved over two decades post
the War on Terror but have its roots in the evolution and establishment of the Great
Game. Now the New Great Game has surfaced and Pakistan is the regional centre of
this New Great Game. There is an established, defined and ascertained role of
Pakistan vis-a-viz other world powers such as the USA and other stakeholders such
as China, Russia, Iran and Central Asian States. How have we landed this role of
being the front line state needs to be traced. It all started in early 1950s when half a
century ago we formed a part of the nexus politick which we are faced with today.
The national agenda has been that of a security state where we were paranoid with
the growing military muscle of the hostile neighbour India. Pakistan being a weaker
state with a greater rural set up started looking up towards the big brother and fell
into the US camp with the signing of security pacts such as SEATO CENTO. We
must learn lesson from history by carefully analysing all that has happened during
those pacts and chalk out a strategy which will not recur those events which
happened before and disappointed us as a nation. Cosmetic optics ought to be
shunned and shutting porous borders and killing people in name of War on Terror
needs to be stopped. This surgical ICU treatment to our perennial issues ought to be
discontinue with the mindset revamped and reoriented. The 1965 and 1971 war with
an amicable neighbour. Soviet Union collapsed into Russia with the separation of
many states post the March of the Red Army into insurmountable terrain. The
debacle of 1971 culminated in the dismemberment of the East Pakistan and the spill
over effect of our role in the Afghan War led the inundation of 300 thousand to 1000
thousand Afghan refugees in Punjab.
The geotagging of 97% Madrasaah in Punjab conceal more than they reveal.
Our body polity is polluted otherwise it's been peaceful. Islamic summit held in 1974
was extremely peaceful with 14 heads of various Islamic Heads of State travelling
openly in broad daylight. Policy of peaceful coexistence was followed in true letter
and spirit. Sectarianism, praetorianism, regionalism etc have originated from this tug
of war to gain maximum power. So much money is poured into fuelling to accentuate
this faulty design. There has been a continuous negation of the social sector with
poor Human Development Indices. Investment in the social sector is at a dismal
minimum. Efforts are not undertaken to capitalise on this youth bulge of 60 to 70
per cent. Our GDP stands at 4% with a growth of 3.5% when the minimum standards

to tread on the development trajectory requires 7.5% growth rate at least. We are
sitting on a time bomb.

Q2. What needs to be done right away to make NAP potent?

Ans: Realignment of national priorities remains to be the most important task. This
has its roots in the genesis of the country. United India had an egalitarian body
politic. When Pakistan was conceived it was synonymous to a place where Muslim
majority will enjoy high ideals of social justice. This will serve as a role model for
other countries as its basis were formed on a clear ideology. The constitution
continues with this in the preamble where collective wisdom of the people was
expressed in so many words as the collective genius finds its way into Article 25 A
of the Constitution where every 6 to 15 years old child was mandated to attend
school. We have left a major gap here. We did not have a census since 1998 hence
no reliable statistics are on field to shed light on the momentous hidden population
out of school children. When the head count is not fully ascertained then no career
path no comprehensive policy planning is carried out and there is an array of onus
of responsibility. We must go back to the very basis. State has the sole responsibility
of raising the social indicators by investing heavily in education to begin with. The
state has forgone certain liberties vis-a-vis the responsibilities of state. Muslims had
envisioned this land to be their dreamland the land of the pure with no injustice, loot
and plunder. All institutions such as civil service, military, judiciary, parliament etc
were to be responsible to the public but this turned out a fallacy and never happened.
The demands from the state remained high and sadly unmet. The era of 80s and 90s
ushered with it the age of Information and Communication Technology which made
the world a global village with globalisation and trade liberalisation being the norms
of the day. This brought with it a new social order and we wished to see our own
being revived. Resultantly, frustration, unrest and Ill will crept in the society and
destroyed our once intricately woven social fabric. A vacuum, gap or lacunae was
hence created with led to the ingress of some terrorist groups which extended some
promises of bringing back to people the semblance of older times. This in turn had
grave consequences in terms of the negative influence these groups exerted on
misguided and marginalised people of Pakistan. A regular 5kg bomb with detonator,
battery and explosives costs just about 50 thousand rupees which is thus very
convenient for these vested interest groups to motivate the impressionable minds.

Q3: What stands in way of implementation of the NAP?

Ans: Social injustice and poverty remains the root cause of this monster of terrorism
and the fundamental challenge lies in the elimination of this. We have hope for that.
We ought not to think out of the context. We have a major stake in the state of
Pakistan. People have taken to the footpaths of the country to sleep and while the
hullabaloo of the traffic and on goers passes by they keep lying there sound asleep.
What is this? This insensitivity and indifference is a matter of grave concern. We
need to redefine ourselves. We must go back to our roots, to our original basis. We
must capitalise on our people build their capacity, infuse hope in them and make
them a stakeholder in the state of Pakistan. The household occupancy census unveils
8 to 10 people in single room. The kacha houses and the shelter less people have not
been considered. They have stakes in the country- in its progress, development,
prosperity and security. Why are they then not recruited and made productive? The
geotagging is only a mental diversion. The conflicting views which are disseminated
only heavily focus on the right to live. We have these fatal fault lines within our
social fabric which provide the very substrate for the exponential growth of the
terrorists who have mushroomed in the country like bacteria. An ideal scenario to
prosperity will be a literacy rate of 100%. In Pakistan however there are 2.5 crore
children out of schools despite constitutional provision for the same under article
25-A. To date 67 years of Pakistan have elapsed, what will be the future of Pakistan
let's say in 2085? We have no option but to put these children in school to ensure a
homogeneous and prosperous future. Literacy coupled with skill development is
only destined make this huge population bulge productive. Development in social
sectors such as that of health and education will invest in a sound and safe future.
Many school going children in Pakistan are witnessing stunted growth. Number of
hospitals and health care facilities greatly outnumber the number of playgrounds
available to the youth for physical recreation. In United Kingdom alone there are
150 thousand amateur sports clubs. In all western countries the sports avenues
channelize the energies of the youth into positive arenas. This soft image building
ought to be an integral part of the National Security Policy.

4: What new policy and plans have to be formulated?

Pakistan is perceived as a trigger happy nation and rightly so. It is imperative in
today's times to achieve unity and consensus on the ideals on nationalism. The NAP
though with it adhoc arrangements is an instrumental document to this effect. No
time should be wasted in focusing on adjunct and peripheral elements. We must
achieve coherence and cohesion as a state. We were blessed to form a religious state.
Jinnah's address of 11th August 1948 is ceremonial in deliberating the conception of
an ideologically driven country. All religious thoughts are expressed in Islam and
those enshrined in the letter and spirit of Quran and Sunnah are made intelligible and
promote religious tolerance across the board. These fatwas are an instrument of
interpretation and not to mislead the local populace. The irony remains however that
Quranic verses are being erroneously used to kill people. The NAP in itself implies
the concept of a counter narrative to tackle the fabricate extremist narrative plaguing
the social system. National consensus for the very first time over countering this
menace of terrorism has been developed. Narratives and their implication is such
vast that even though an intelligence report revealed that India never wanted to grab
Pakistan but its narrative is such that it is holding onto its concept of a United India.
The worth of these positions is only greed, gluttony and the intent to spread discord.
People have dwindling faith in the system as res gestae is frequently invoked in the
faulty tribal system.

Q5 How crucial are institutions in playing a role for realisation of the NAP?
Ans: Faith in institutions is declining day by day and reality is only being coloured.
We have no option but to go back to the whole truth. Civil service and leadership is
all represented as dacoits. This has led to the perception that army is the institute of
last resort. It is not the army but the civil service stuff ought to be the institute of last
resort. Army's role is of a front liners guarding the borders and in aid of civil only
under strict constitutional provisions has to be maintained. Army's surrender to this
course alone could and does keep the ball rolling. Consensus over the NAP by the
army leadership by giving the civilian leadership ascendancy in devising and
promulgating an action plan. We must respect institutions. Respect from the nation
is subliming as we see politicians and leaders belittling and abusing each other over
the social media. We must extend the requisite respect to the office bearers of our

Q6 What could promote tolerance in the Society? How badly is social

development the need of the day?
Ans: The tolerance level is the society is such that no right of way is ever given, no
civic sense is displayed as people do not budge an inch from their misconstrued
stances. We have to invest in social development by making plausible and realist
arrangements to enlighten and empower the drown trodden segments of our society.
We do not need to reinvent the wheel here. We just have to look at the developed
nations. Barbaric practices such as burying alive of young girls and Karo Kari in
name of honour killing must be put an end to. Justice system dispensation is not just
in courts but it is in offices where administrative justice is crucial. Peace within and
without is of paramount significance. We cannot change our neighbours so we must
strike cordial relations as once our frontiers are peaceful we could whole heartedly
divert our energies on improving the social sector and keeping things under control
within the country. We must be cognisant of the fact that the New Great Game is
continually rolling in the region with billions of dollars at stake of the different
regional and international players. We must incorporate our lessons learnt from
China into our National Internal Security Policy. Despite having a hostile neighbour
China's following an all-inclusive inward looking strategy and no wonder has the
boasts of largest number of millionaires in the world. Rather than rectifying others
first the reformative action must be personally directed too. Mandela was the only
person who openly acknowledged that he ought to reform himself too.
For now, the work undertaken and communicated at the ministry of interior.
Recommendations by DG information group are lying down and no progress is made
on developing a national narrative. A soft interface has to developed and flouted to
strengthen these reforms claimed under the NAP. Social justice has to be dispensed
and corruption ought to be put to an end. Adhocism is no solution. The single most
unsung feather in the cap of the NAP is that all political parties despite their political
rifts and differences and all institutions of the state have unanimously agreed to the
NAP. Now the points in it need to be revisited, improvised and aligned with the
national agenda and national priorities.
To date no such has been carried out on Madrassah reforms and regulations. By
ordinary parlance rote learning has no relevance as a skill in today's age of
technology. Curricula needs to be revamped at the earliest. Outdated rote learning
needs to be supplemented heaving with knowledge of Shariah. Science, maths and
English ought to be taught alongside to make the Madrassah pupils fare well in later
years of life even if they choose to become religious scholars. Reconstruction of
Islam with intolerant hues must be stifled with an iron fist as there is no exclusion
clause in religion. These dissenting terrorist factions only purport and distort those
aspects going in their favour and keep these out of context. Tolerance, mutual
peaceful coexistence must be ensured. Patience is the key here as even prophets
practiced patience. Wrong religious scriptures interpretation is the root cause of
anarchy and it must be dealt with stringently taking on board all the stake holders
and winning their confidence. Historically and wholesomely this menace of
distortion of Islam has to be dealt with. Ulemas role needs to be regulated
thoroughly. Jinnah’s famous historic speech of 11th August 1948 must be perceived
in context. Jinnah had the clear vision that Pakistan was not a theocratic state and
was not to be run by the clergy. The true spirit of Islam is depicted in the freedom "
to go " to any religious seminary as the citizens wishes. Religion was not to be the
business of the state. Minorities are well represented in the tolerant country as white
in the flag is symbolic of minorities and their rights are constitutionally guaranteed.
Theocracy is un-Islamic.

Annex C
(18th CTP) (103rd NMC)

Q1: What is the security spectrum threatening Pakistan? How equipped are
the civilian intelligence agencies to preempt such attacks?
Ans: The security paradigm has completely changed over last couple of decades
more so after the War on Terror. Multiplicity of threats have called for improvisation
in the LEAs and the Intelligence agencies. It is heartening to see that Intelligence
Bureau is now of a significant capacity to not just intercept and tap communication
channels but also perform Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) meticulously and
help avert many threats.

Q2: What is your take on NAP as a practitioner? How potent it is in way to

eradicating the menace of terrorism and institutionalizing reforms? How
frequently do the apex committees meet? Kindly apprise us of what goes on in
Ans: National Action Plan is a set of actionable points (which put its
comprehensiveness in great doubt) explicitly spelling out the actions that must be
taken to make the country peaceful inside out. However, NAP is perceived in the
field as a list of actions but lacks the essence and structure of a plan. The explicit
and implicit, kinetic and non-kinetic, hard and soft measures expounded in the 20-
point document are the steps which have gained currency over last decade and badly
need to be implanted in true letter and spirit. Army being a formidable institution is
looked up as the harbinger of these measures. Apex committees are held at the beck
and call of the army corps commander throughout the country. I myself attend such
apex committee headed by the Corps Commander (2 Corps) in Multan along with
other divisional Commissioners and DIGs and progress on the NAP is discussed.
The meetings are held every 3 to 4 months and minuted by the army corps
commander office but rarely any intelligence is shared. Progress on the NAP is given
in the form of statistics put forth by the Police, observations by the divisional
administration and overall surveillance by the armed forces.

Q3: How do you see NACTA performing as such? Is it potent enough to

accomplish the tasks as enshrined in its mandate? How could NACTA’s full
potential be harnessed to meet the desired effect?
Ans: National Action Plan is a set of 20 points which can be made actionable only
when they are executed properly under the ambit of a fully autonomous and
functional NACTA. NACTA alone is the panacea of all ills. The need of the hour is
to fully empower NACTA. This can be only and solely brought about once it is
removed from the Ministry of Interior and placed directly under the Prime Ministers
command with full administrative and financial autonomy as the NACTA law
envisages. The NACTA law is a comprehensive, beautifully framed and aptly
articulate document which needs to see the light of the day. Army has major stakes
in the security situation of the country and rightly so as army is ferociously guarding
our hostile eastern and western borders and nabbing miscreants with an iron fist.
Zarb-e-Azab is considered erroneously synonymous with the National Action Plan.
This perception looms large because of army's active and reactive involvement in
uprooting terrorists from the Pakistani soil. NACTA so far has not become
operational and realized its true goal as given in the hard and soft measures
enunciated in the NAP owing to this latent issue emanating from the command and
control of the NACTA. The pragmatic solution would be to eliminate this trust
deficit of sensitive information and intelligence sharing between the civil leadership
and military top brass by replacing the National Coordinator NACTA with a three
star general (Lieutenant General) for already a stint of three years to set the NACTA
machinery in action. Once it is up and running for sometime then military-civil trust
deficit be bridged and then either someone from bureaucracy or the police service
can ascend to the National Coordinator if NACTA. This alone would satisfy the
existence of this over arching body and help it to achieve its penultimate goal of
eradicating terrorism and institutionalizing reforms as envisioned under the NAP.
The NACTA Act can be amended by the parliament keeping the national interest

Q4: How far is the militancy threat pulsating in Punjab? How are strict security
arrangements in Ramadan and Muharram amid high threat alerts and a
belligerent neighbor are made? How frequently is the Army or Rangers called
in for back up?
Ans: Contrary to general perception, Punjab even the southern belt is cleared of
militants. Apart from LeJ clear up last year many other proscribed organizations
have been uprooted from Punjab. Ramadan again as opposed to Muharram takes a
greater toll on the security apparatus and calls for greater coordination among
various stake holders. Army’s presence is hardly there on the field. Very rarely
companies from the army or quick response force are called amid such security
arrangements. District and Divisional Intelligence Committees work laboriously to
mitigate any threat alert. Divisional and District intelligence committees are good
fora for sharing intelligence and taking informed decisions. They meet regularly.
Intelligence by ISI and MI is shared satisfactorily. Significant coordination and
liaison is maintained amongst various stake holders to see through such fool proof
arrangements with strict monitoring. On record this time around army's and rangers
requisition has been a bare minimal after mutual information sharing of security and
contingency plans. Extensively all through Ramadan police force is deployed at
mosque where taraweeh prayers are held. In Muharram the scale is less as only
procession routes are covered and roads are cordoned off subsequently.

Q5: How can Madrassah reforms be institutionalised? Who could vow to

provide social justice to root this evil of disparity, dissatisfaction and despair
from the masses? What forum could project a soft image of Pakistan and work
on the dissipation of a strong national counter narrative?
Ans: NACTA is to be used optimally as a fulcrum around which all major stake
holders could cluster and work harmoniously to achieve a set objective. Umbrella
organisation NACTA could serve as a lynchpin in bringing together all departments
which otherwise work entirely out of sync with each other and national goals too.
NACTA needs to be used as the focal point for all activity be that devising a national
narrative or formulating a counter terrorism policy, stance and strategy. This
fountainhead will steer things in right direction and take into its fold the Information
and Culture Departments which could further propagate a soft imagine of Pakistan
working hand in glove with the other players agglomerated around NACTA.

Annex D

Q1: How does the NAP provide for a strategy to put its vital points into

Ans: Pakistan does not have a comprehensive national security strategy. Internal
security is part of the overall NS strategy. This is a clear missing link. It is the job of
Cabinet Committee on National Security to deliberate and come up with a National
Security Policy as well as a strategy. What is the point of having a National Security
Division and a National Security Advisor if we cannot come up with a policy and
strategy document?

Present Government came up with a National Internal Security Strategy in February

2014 without first formulating a national security strategy. IS Strategy is a vast wish
list. Too many eggs have been placed in Nacta’s basket without building its capacity.
Nacta law is quite clear: it should under the Prime Minister. Interior Ministry is
treating it as part interior division. Consequently, it has not taken off.

Q2: What fault lines do you believe exist in our system and how does the NAP
address those?

Ans: The syndicate should focus on internal security fault lines. In my view, three
Ms are responsible for our malaise: Mullah; Military; Militants. By Mullah, I mean
religious extremism. Military is a big part of the problem but a bigger part of the
solution. Militants in the form of non-state actors are out to unravel the state.

National Action Plan was a rapid response to the threat of terrorism in the wake of
the APS Peshawar tragedy. It mostly covers kinetic responses of the state and that is
why military response is predominant. However, both civilian and military
stakeholders were required to be on the same page to combat host of challenges
facing the nation.

Q3: The criticism being levelled against the NAP is that it remains a wish list
and a mere vision rather than being a comprehensive document to be translated
into practice effectively. What is your take on that?

Ans: I wonder why the group has chosen to dub NAP as non-comprehensive. The
20-point plan is quite comprehensive in CT domain. Yes, in the context of religious
extremism, a long-term counter violent extremism strategy is required. That aspect
can be highlighted by the Syndicate.

I see the scope of study is limited to Punjab and Madrassahs. NAP recognizes that
Punjab is the heartland of militancy. The group is advised to interview IG Punjab
and HS for the results of actions in implementation of NAP during the first year.

Head of Nacta, IG Ihsan Ghani should also be interviewed.

Q4: What shortfalls do you see with the civilian government with regards to the
implementation of the soft measures given in the NAP?

Ans: Great emphasis in NAP is to build the capacity of the CJS. That is where the
civilian government is failing so far. Military courts are not the permanent solution.
Their tenure will come to an end in Feb 2017. What then? It is important to build the
capacity of investigators, prosecutors and judges.

Q5: How could we root out militancy with a softer image propagated in terms
of a national narrative?

Ans: The question of correlation between national identity and national security is
very fundamental. What should be the role of religion in statecraft? Jinnah’s 11 th
August 1947 address to the constituent assembly provides the framework to address
the issue of religious extremism bedevilling the state and society today.

Q6: Military has the largest stakes in the security paradigm of the country. How
tacit the role of military is in your view?

Ans: Pakistan military for the first time in 2009 changed its doctrine to determine
that internal security is our major threat. NAP is a manifestation of addressing the
internal security fault lines. How far is the military succeeding in its mission? The
group should question the militarization of policing and the killing spree in Karachi,
Balochistan and Punjab in particular. This is not a far-sighted strategy.