Anti-Terror Action Plan

A comprehensive plan is needed to battle this inhuman spectre of terrorism being imposed on the peace loving people of Pakistan endangering the entire country.  An outline is being suggested, every item of which needs to be worked upon to develop the final strategy to combat terrorism....

  1. Coordination with our Armed forces, to understand the threat we are facing, and their plan of action. They are at the fore-front of this battle.  However as they alone cannot do it, a comprehensive integration is needed as follows.
  2. Counter-narrative to the justification of terrorism and its activities particularly as and when religion is used.
  3. Ensure that ‘Madaris’ are not used for terrorism justification, indoctrination and as centers for such activities and integrate them into the national education mainstream preserving their focus on religious education.
  4. Strategy to win hearts and minds of the population that is either coerced or volunteers to cooperate with the terrorists into providing shelter and supplies.
  5. Development of a ‘Rapid Response Strategy’ and a ‘Rapid Response Force’ for immediate punitive and preventive action. In the aftermath of the killing of school children the people expect immediate retaliatory action.
  6. Improve precision of action to limit innocent casualties.
  7. Increase intelligence and counter-surveillance for the armed forces and LEAs to keep an eye on networks and their proliferation. This may require international and Afghan cooperation.
  8. Restricting communication of the terrorists including un-restricted use of illegal and Afghan SIMS.
  9. Rehabilitation and reintegration of IDPs:
    1. As quickly as possible as delay sets into motion other dynamics of frustration and dependence leading to a vicious cycle of resentment or permanent displacement.
    2. Rebuilding and economic rehabilitation of the areas post action and cleansing.
    3. A policy and time frame for the return of Afghan refugees.
    4. Rehabilitation of victims as well as those who surrender arms.
    5. Strengthening of Conflict Resolution mechanisms including jirgas.
  10. Curtailment of media glorification of terrorism and its justification through PEMRA and if needed, further legislation.
  11. Comprehensive arms control of licensed and unlicensed weapons. Restriction of availability of arms and explosives as well as easily available ingredients used in the making of IEDs.
  12. All planning should look at the entire gamut of terrorism in Pakistan and should include:
    1. FATA/KP/Taliban and misguided Jihadism.
    2. Balochistan.
    3. Sectarian.
    4. Ethnic (Karachi and interior Sindh).
    5. Kashmir Jihad related activity which morphs into fighters available for other activities.  Non-state actors based in Pakistan.
  13. Foreign policy with regard to:
    1. Afghanistan
    2. US and its interests in the region.
    3. China
    4. India
    5. Saudi Arabia
    6. Iran
  14. Limiting financial resources and foreign sponsorship particularly involved in sectarian terrorism and indoctrination.
  15. Performance enhancement of LEAs
  16. Implementation of existing Anti-terror legislation including PPO in a fair but effective manner.
  17. Improving the efficiency of the Judiciary.
  18. An effective Witness Protection Program.
  19. Capacity building of prosecuting agencies (with measurable metrics of success monitored yearly as to rates of conviction) and of forensics
  20. Adequate resource allocation.


Dr Arif Alvi

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

Showing 40 reactions

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  • Zeeshan Qureshi
  • Dr. Arif Alvi
    Great Advice. Need to thank all of you and am following every post as I feel every one of you has left an idea or a ‘prioritisation’ of an idea in my mind. There may be nothing novel in what I wrote but all of us have come together to develop an actionable plan. I would insist tomorrow in the meeting to have timelines on action points and an oversight committee to ensure that they are followed. Otherwise any plan would be useless and lead to further disappointment in the country. Keep me posted as you see this develop.
  • Umair
    Suggestion # 1:
    There must be adequate program to monitor Masjid Imam’s and his close colleague activities in a disguise manner i.e. by ISI or some other intelligence. This monitoring must be irrespective of the sect and for all sects e.g. Deoband, Barelvi, Shia, etc.

    Suggestion # 2:
    There must be transparent eye on local political members of every party irrespective of discrimination. As terrorism is led from the top, it doesn’t begin itself.

    Suggestion # 3:
    There must be an eye on local police members/stations, as 90% of cases in any area occur with the knowledge and permission of the police as they are fed with adequate bribe. Police must also be replaced by youth rather than fatty/aged persons. Salary of a police cop must be increased to a level that he can adequately serve his family without the need for bribe.

    Suggestion # 4:
    Severe Treason/Bribery laws at local level.

    Terrorism minimized to an acceptable and controllable level.
  • Usama Hussain
    I think that third point needs more elaboration. All the madaris and mosques must be registered by the government and no one should be allowed to construct a mosque without government’s permission. Moreover the imam allocated to each mosque must go through a proper training or examination procedure to to prevent the propagation of extremist ideas.
  • Hafsa Siddique
    Plz include a strict check on NGOs – the wolves in sheep’s clothing – supporting such activities.
  • Warda Bhatti
    Doctor sahab you put great things together but now there is more to do.Since the latest incident which has jolted us to the core we need to do more in order to secure this nation especially our children. We need to formulate a passport policy there should be a restriction on issuance of passports on political and bureaucratic level, if any Pakistani is not in present in Pakistan for more than 5 yrs he must get visa to enter Pakistan as this policy is being followed in countries like India and Bangladesh, no matter fro which country the person is coming from US, Canada UK, or whichever the entry into Pakistan must not be given without visa. This way we will be able to keep tabs on the entrance. State bank should be tabs on all international remittance that is coming in the country. Our borders with Afghanistan and Iran shall be sealed. No more Refugee program. Time has come that we start thinking for our people rather than others. We need to form proper foreign policy and need to show some dignity as a nation and as leaders of country
  • Haroon Iqbal
    Alvi Sahib, please add mass surveillance (CCTV) and lawful digital interception too. The police across Pakistan is not equipped and qualified to use technology that could prevent a lot from happening.
  • Haroon Iqbal
    You could maybe add “No Hate Speech” of any sort. Mass public awareness programs and trainings via police, schools, public offices, sms, hospitals, media etc on reporting, rescue and how to be vigilant
  • Shahbaz Raza
    Dr Sb, Not sure how far you have gone with Anti-Terror policy. Sadly speaking that now every second count. Terrorist warned that they would attack again and we are still in the process of drafting of basic rather general outlines of policy. Being representative of PTI, it seems that you people are thinking first time to make Anti terror policy that is why you include points that clearly shows that KPK govt never applied or initiated so doesnt have any idea of its practicability or hurdles that restricts for execution. During PTI govt tenure, we were victims of many terrorist attacks especially Banu jail break-in. Is there any investigation took place or what measures PTI govt carried out? If many then what are they?? If none then simply Shame!!
    Dr Sb my point is that we should not waste a single moment to take action, because if we ignore these moments then we indirectly support terrorism

    Action to be taken immediately(at provincial level)

    To avoid lengthy process of legislation, make president to issue ordinance of required legislation
    Activation of KPK security council comprising CM,respective ministers, representatives of agencies etc
    Interception all calls within or abroad KPK
    As you all know, main funding of these from gulf, need to pay visits with evidences(like Raheel Shareef visited in Afghanistan) and get assurance for no further support
    KPK govt sit with ISI and overhaul all KPK madressas and monitored them
    Death sentence execution
    Military courts for terrorists
    Reward for intelligence sharing about any terrorist activity
    Complete witness or information sharer privacy and protection
    Tight security of all military personnel(or families) involvement areas
    Immediate formation of Ulema council(include reps for all sects) that issues licence to speaker to use speaker
    Strict ban on loudspeaker, hate speeches and literature
    Announcement of CM resignation for further failure

    Long termed plan
    Formation of KPK database profile center with the help of NADRA and intelligence agencies
    Develop training courses of different levels for KPK police to counter terrorism activity
    Recruitment for Elite class of police
    Equipped police with best available arms and resources.
    Permit loudspeaker use for ‘licensed’ speaker.
    Make madressas as govt schools for regular studies
    Strict ban of wall chalking and hate posters and activities.
    Restrict media spreading panic
    Fix root cause of terrorism.
  • Dr. Arif Alvi
    Umair Sahib: I agree without measurable metrics, there will be a plan which may remain a plan only.

    Adil Sb: Thank for a very detailed input and understanding what is possible and doable and what is not, especially getting the madrassahs to come into the mainstream. Limiting collateral damage will be the most important issue and will become more debatable later in time when the Peshawar trauma is reduced. IIC revival is important. Those who can provide a counter narrative like Javed Ghamdi (ex member of IIC also) was threatened, left the country and now lives in Malaysia.
  • Adil Ishaque Abbasi
    Dr sb., let me first commend your efforts for policy making. You have pushed me to rethink about the capability and intention of the existing political leadership in a positive way. Indeed, you have found an innovative approach to conduct a public hearing.

    Now, coming to the main topic, first of all we have to clearly figure out what we can do, and what we can’t.

    Being an under developed country, we can’t be able to afford a budget for security agencies equivalent to that of any other developed country.

    As a nation, we have experienced, applying force at full throttle further raises the level of threat, which our existing security agencies cannot tackle with due to the lack of resources, mainly financial. The rise in threat level is due to the fact that every action of force results into some form of collateral damage, be it physical or emotional. Analyzing the empirical data, we can safely conclude that this collateral damage is directly proportional to the use of force. And every affectee is highly likely to fall into terrorists fold. So, excessive use of force can possibly trigger a chain reaction. A security apparatus backed by heavy finances is required to grapple with it. In our present conditions, this is simply not affordable, and therefore not sustainable as well.

    For this reason, I would say, it is prudent to limit the use of force through points # 1,5,6,7,8, and further develop the policy plan putting more emphasis on point # 2,3,4, & 9 of your policy outline.

    Some friends, in their posts in comments section, have forcefully suggested to regulate the religious schools. We should keep it in mind while planning that we may regulate the environment but we can’t be able to regulate the mind of any religious faculty, and therefore its product in form of an idea or a thought. We should make efforts to help integrate the religious schools into mainstream national thought process, by sharing knowledge and information about the current affairs. Helping them in their understanding of the complex details of the international diplomacy.

    In this regard, I would suggest, reinvigorate the constitutional institution, which is lying almost dead I.e. Islamic Ideological council (IIC). Revamp the IIC in a way that it will help providing a better interface between state departments and religious schools. IIC can possibly proved to be a platform, where differences between state’s thinking and that of religious schools, can be ironed out.

    In the end, I would request, try hard not to turn this issue into a warfare between left-wing and right-wing ideologies. We have achieved unity of purpose among our nation after losing lots of precious innocent lives. This is a blessing in disguise. We should not lose this hard earned unity by indulging into never-ending wars of ideologies.
  • Usama Siddiqui
    great initiatives… u took my words. Many of the points i thought are in your draft (y) (y). wonderful work.
  • Faraz S
    Thats a decent initiative.
    How about doing something more credible or meaningful. Just like against dhandli, PTI did a nationwide Dharna. Can we plan something against Lal Masjid clerics? (who on record refuse to condemn Peshawar Attack). And after that we give time bound ultimatum to Govt to make a plan to root out terrorists, otherwise we will stage un-ending dharna against this !

    And lastly, what are plans by the KPK govt? PTI has power there, certainly we can do more?
  • Umair Farooq
    Alvi Sb. first of all i appreciate the fact that you are involving common men in this dialogue and creating a platform to receive input and refine the work. A few comments from my side:
    - I think you have pretty much touched open everything that is needed to be fixed so in terms of scope your plan appears to be good.
    - I do think there’s work needed to make you plan SMART – specific, measurable, achievable/attainable, realistic and time-bound. You will need to evaluate what ‘budget’ we have and how can we use allocate it to achieve effective results in reasonable period of time.

    Good luck!!
  • Hafsa Siddique
    Registration & monitoring activities of ALL:

    - Madarassahs
    - NGOs

    in the country. Check & ban (on a regular basis) if any organization is funding military training or brainwashing through hate-speech against national interests or any religious section, ethnic group etc.
  • Yasir Jamal
    Along with judges, prosecution and witness protection there should also be protection for jail staff as well
  • Mirza Zahid
    1. Judges protection program also. holding trials in camera in jails.
    2. changes in law of evidence.
    3 use of media to educate the public to provide information regarding terrorists.
    4. depoliticize police and put good police officers in critical areas on the recommendations of army and ISI
  • Yasir Jamal
    Strict checking of green, blue, red etc number plate cars as I know friends who use these fake number plates to avoid police check points while on highways and entry/exit points. How hard is it for terrorists to procure an SUV and put a fake coloured number plate on it and move freely?
  • Yasir Jamal
    Carry out a public media campaign (tv channels, radio,newspapers) stating that it is not allowed in islam to kill a completely innocent unrelated person if somebody killed your dear one. Also in this campaign tell the stories about the young boys who survived the suicide bombing training camps. Tell the nation how they were lured and brainwashed. Tell the people about the criminal activities they carry out to fund their war.
  • Yasir Jamal
    I agree with you. Monitoring of sermons is extremely crucial for a counter narrative, ordinary people should not be told from the alter who is wajib ul qatl and who is not, who is islam dushman and who is not by an ordinary molvi. There is much else in Islam that they can teach the people.
  • Yasir Jamal
    Hold Army accountable and issue report of the operation thus far which should be as transparent and straight forward as the one issued recently by the US on its intelligence practices.

    Ask the Army and government about the one time cost and annual cost of building a sealed border with Afghanistan and tell the public about the figures. If its not too high then seal the border. (Keep in mind that this is not only for the war against the TTP but also against the potential threat of ISIS)
  • Dr. Arif Alvi
    Shafqat Sb., Mao’s 5 points summarise a lot. Will try and remember and also read up

    Good idea Mahoor regarding transparency.

    Yasir words cannot be banned but sermons can be monitored and action taken
  • Mahnoor
    Hold our Army accountable for all their claims. We need full details of the people killed, who they were, which group they belonged to etc, so everyone can know who is their enemy. We cant trust every claim of they army blindly. Also, media should be sent to war torn areas so we are aware of the situation and the views of the people there about everything in general. All should be kept in the open and should be transparent.
  • Yasir Jamal
    In the end policies, laws and regulations will be implemented on the ground level by the police so it is very important to fix the police first and foremost.

    Secondly some words should be banned from speeches and sermons such as: ‘wajib ul qatl’, ‘ghairat mand’ ‘islam dushman’ ‘deen se kharij’ ‘sharai gumrah’ (these are based on personal experience of sermons in mosques)

    All the top politicians, journalists, islamic scholars, muftis, ulemas should issue compulsory (by law) video recorded messages unconditionally condemning the terrorist, ethnic and sectarian related violence after every such incident. If anyone refuses then he should be behind bars for 10 years.

    Carry out public adverts, include it in school syllabus and madaris syllabus that life can be taken by an individual through the COURTS OF LAW ONLY!!!

    Bring all the madatis and mosques under regulation. There are still so many outside the circle.

    No foreign funding of masajids, seminaris.

    Lastly, take some pointers from Faisal Raza Abidi as he has been fighting for this cause for many years now.
  • Shafqat Asghar
    Respected Dr Alavi
    It was heartening to see some tangible things being put on the paper.
    Whereas the cardinal points are all practical, may I suggest that an over arching CT Policy at the national level be first conceived which should guide various orgs how to go about implementing various strands of the strategy. I would suggest you to go through the writings of Mao Tze Tung on People’s war or Protracted war, they serve as an invaluable guideline for Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism. Following are the five basic principles of Mao’s Policy which I have inverted to work as counter to the concept of protracted war, I feel they are all useful to conceive a workable CT Policy; it may be of use to an intellectual like you:-
    1. Kinetics – use of force is imperative
    2. Non Kinetics – It is equally important to win over the people to your side in the conflict zone
    3. Alliances – terrorist alliances have to be severed in order to be isolated so that each group could be tackled separately
    4. International Support – must be blocked for moral, physical and financial support
    5. Narrative – a strong counter narrative has be built and implemented
    Best Regards and Good luck
  • Dr. Arif Alvi
    Thanks to all of you have very serious concerns which have been voiced here about an Antiterror policy. This blog has worked like a public hearing.

    Christopher: I think Nadeemul Haque’s suggestions on Twitter and others have rightly suggest LB tier to be established for obvious benefits

    Shahzeb: Without punishment nothing will work I agree 100%

    Sami: Cancellation of nationality is not possible according to Pak constitution (and where will u send them). But aliens among us have stricter processes according to Antiterror laws and PPO as it exists. Judiciary must be strengthened and ask to deliver. Afghan refugee is a difficult situation.

    Fiaz: We must have education to prevent and rehabilitate

    Shahbaz: NSC / Defence Committee of Cabinet exists in law and is desperately needed for Civil/Mil cooperation. I believe it has started happening. Must thank you for a very detailed response. Important points to carry home and will work on details.

    MohibbeWatan: Bureaucracy corruption and details need to be curbed as it creates frustration in the people and if economy of area is poor they may be used by terrorists.

    Qalam Khan: We must eat the causes not the symptoms. Banning of such political parties which support terrorism will remain an option but most have now distanced themselves. And your pen has worked out many details. Thanks

    Arif: Counter narrative would be the basis of working in society, other than army action

    Noor: Civil Military Cooperation, communication between defence and foreign ministers, COAS and PM all is needed.

    Fem: You are giving a broader definition to the issue. Though important it will make the current issue weak
  • Sami Akhtar
    Dr sb few lines for consideration. I think its time to act and act without weighing cost. Allah has given oppertunity to our govt and you all. Pl take full advantage of that. Few lines are as follow.
    1. Policy of with us or with them with total commitment. Those with them even internally,cancell their nationality or put them behid bars.
    2. Judiciary to be confronted and they should be shown their face and be made responsible to ppl.
    3. All madaris be sealed and be taken over by govt. All madaris are promoting hatred and terrorism or sp terror.
    4. All religious parties whose head or lead members have contact with such talibaan or such like org be banned.
    5. Journalists having conntacts with talibaan like irfan siddiqi saleem saafi ansaar abbasi hamid mir be taken to task.
    6. Media be brought under code.
    7. All afghan refugees be pushed to afghanistan within 10 days.
    8. Rana sanaullah like supporters of sectarian and talibaan be punished.
    9. Bold policy with regard to USA and India and afghans without fear be made as we are willing to die but inshaallah will also take along india and afghanistan. We can not afford any more childeren to sacrifice for us. We have to sacrifice. Get rid of these hypocrates politicians pl. Be bold. Be bold. Be bold. Many more points but take concrete steps not just well worded policy having nothing to deliever. Thanks. Allah may give you courage to present our feelings in forthright manner. This is not time for diplomacy.
  • Shahbaz Raza
    Dr Sb, you also missed the punishment and execution process for convicted terrorists. Also to publicize the investigation report and identifying the failures.
  • Fiaz Nadeem
    It is a good plan to cope with the present situation, but we also need a long term policy to eradicate exteremism from our society. For this purpose we only have education as an effective tool. Our education curricula are never designed in such a way to produce a civilized nation. We don’t have sufficient materials included in all disicplines of our efucation which could promote tolerance, respect, acceptance of others and their opinions, international understanding and citizenship. All students must have this type of education, whether they are engineers, doctors, socialogists or of any discipline. When we don’t have strong basis of ethical education, our kids, youth or even elders can be traped by jihadists and terrorists. That is why we are seeing highly educated persons of this system who are taliban apologists.
  • Shahbaz Raza
    Outline seems more general and view of common man. Person(party) in government should sound more specific with “will do” attitude rather “should do”. My feedback as follows

    Coordination with our Armed forces

    Everybody agrees it should be but you people tell us how…
    Option 1; Existence of national security Council…? politician never want this. Then how
    Option 2;COAS or DG ISI ask to present report in Parliament and answer questions?
    Both wont do this…Then how politician coordinate with army. Plz come up with plan to ‘act’

    Counter-narrative to the justification of terrorism

    Qital fil sabil Allah mindset allies in KPK govt then how u convince them. How
    Option 1; You break coalition govt in KPK? You never do this..
    Option2: Regularize all madrassas and take action if they spread ‘jehadi’ mind? ISI wont let u to do..
    Option3 You get to stop KSA funding for these terrorist and mullas? Can our Fedral govt do that? Never Plz give us workable solution

    Ensure that ‘Madaris’ are not used for terrorism justification

    You should know who back these maddressas. These are nurseries of our ISI where they get non uniformed fighters. Can u ask govt and ISI to scrutinize these maddressas??? Never then where is solution?

    Rapid Response Strategy’ and a ‘Rapid Response Force

    Terrorism being in this country especially in KPK for more than decade. PTI govt in KPK for nearly 2yrs. Any kind of idea presented to develop force for immediate response?Nothing! In fact You are refering to ‘Elite’ force highly equipped. Yes there should be…but how..plz give us workable plan

    limit innocent casualties

    Nowadays it is very hard. Can we question COAS to present precise details of who were terrorist and killed during attacks in ‘zarbe azam’?Also the detail of innocent people killed during this operation as we kept asking CIA during drone attacks? Surely they wont answer you…then how you limit this. Infact this is not in our control.

    entire gamut of terrorism in Pakistan

    Guardian of terrorist are among us includes politicians, army personnel and media. PMLN back TTP/TASWJamat. PTI coilition partner JI,JUI and Samiulhaq back good/bad Taliban, ISI back DPC,LT,JshM, MQM back their own homemade target killers and PPP has its own gangs. So can u counter terrorism at all levels. Give us workable plan.

    Restricting communication of the terrorists

    Of course it should but tell us how it could be…?

    Curtailment of media glorification of terrorism

    Have u ever curtail JI for their glorification of ‘qitaal fi sabeel Allah’ then how u expect PEMRA. Plz come up with action plan not just desire

    Comprehensive arms control of licensed and unlicensed weapons

    Good point but still not sure how you make it possible as lots of efforts took place before

    Foreign policy

    This is the key thing and as I assume you need to focus. Mentioned countries a,b,c,d,e,f demands policy that suits us not them.

    Limiting financial resources and foreign sponsorship

    Thats the problem!You all know but can not name those countries. If you act like coward and try to protect their interest then you can not develop nation favored policy

    Implementation of existing Anti-terror legislation

    It is performance issue to ensure implementation of existing policy

    Improving the efficiency of the Judiciary
    Thats another key thing but give us plan how KPK govt can improve efficiency of Judiciary?

    Witness Protection Program
    I like you mention this. This is also very important to protect witness.