The country’s leadership has worked rapidly to build consensus on the action plan following the horrific Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, which left over 140 dead – the majority of whom were children.
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah are also attending the meeting, as are Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Pakistan Peoples Party, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and senior PPP and MQM leaders.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar outlined some of the key points that would form the action plan against terrorism:
- Since police forces require time to train, the Pakistan Army will help and support provincial governments directly.
- 10,000 Army personnel will be deployed in all four provinces to assist provincial security forces.
- Implementation of Article 245 of the Constitution is vital for the Pakistan Army to act in all areas.
- Financing of terrorism and terrorist organizations must be stopped.
- The Federal Red Book of most wanted terrorists needs to be updated regularly.
- All terrorist organisations (including those under new names) need to be tackled.
- Civil and military understanding on the issue is critical. Consensus is needed when decisions are taken.
- Misuse of media by the terrorists has to end. The solution may come through a media code of conduct.
- If needed, a law may be made to blacklist people from appearing on-air. Severe punishments would be handed out against those media groups found violating the blacklist.
- Terrorist threats should not be aired as breaking news.
- The spread of online hate speech and content generated by terrorists needs to end. Regulation of the Internet is required.
- Greater regulation of explosives material is critical.
- An audit may be conducted within a month on all companies dealing with explosives with civilian and military coordination.
In today’s meeting, the recommendations made by the Anti-Terrorism National Action Plan Committee (ATNAPC) in Parliament House yesterday will be put forward for finalisation. The anti-terrorism action committee headed by Chaudhry Nisar had collected and discussed recommendations by the recently constituted anti-terrorism working group of counter-terror experts.
Though the representatives of the country’s major political parties failed to reach a consensus on the establishment of military courts to try terrorists, they had agreed on the need for a speedy justice system to deal with terrorism cases.