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....
- 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.
- Counter-narrative to the justification of terrorism and its activities particularly as and when religion is used.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Improve precision of action to limit innocent casualties.
- 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.
- Restricting communication of the terrorists including un-restricted use of illegal and Afghan SIMS.
Rehabilitation and reintegration of IDPs:
- 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.
- Rebuilding and economic rehabilitation of the areas post action and cleansing.
- A policy and time frame for the return of Afghan refugees.
- Rehabilitation of victims as well as those who surrender arms.
- Strengthening of Conflict Resolution mechanisms including jirgas.
- Curtailment of media glorification of terrorism and its justification through PEMRA and if needed, further legislation.
- 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.
- All planning should look at the entire gamut of terrorism in Pakistan and should include:
- FATA/KP/Taliban and misguided Jihadism.
- Ethnic (Karachi and interior Sindh).
- Kashmir Jihad related activity which morphs into fighters available for other activities. Non-state actors based in Pakistan.
Foreign policy with regard to:
- US and its interests in the region.
- Saudi Arabia
- Limiting financial resources and foreign sponsorship particularly involved in sectarian terrorism and indoctrination.
- Performance enhancement of LEAs
- Implementation of existing Anti-terror legislation including PPO in a fair but effective manner.
- Improving the efficiency of the Judiciary.
- An effective Witness Protection Program.
- Capacity building of prosecuting agencies (with measurable metrics of success monitored yearly as to rates of conviction) and of forensics
- Adequate resource allocation.
Dr Arif Alvi