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Challenges to Radd-ul-Fasaad

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Reema Shaukat
PAKISTAN which has faced many ups and downs and challenges in war against terrorism was again hit by the new wave of violence at the beginning of year 2017. Lahore and Sehwan attacks led the leadership think about the security challenges and implementation of new strategies to counter anti state elements. Though operation Zarb-i-Azb was a huge success but the re-emergence of terrorist attacks have raised questions about the efficacy of NAP and other options for long lasting peace.It is important to note that that Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad has been announced as a continuation of the National Action Plan (NAP). As part of the plan, military courts were established to fast-track terrorism cases. Intelligence-based operations across the country were initiated to disrupt and destroy terror networks in urban and rural areas. The plan had also laid an emphasis on curtailing terror financing. In NAP it was mentioned that a strict action will be taken against seminaries involved in militancy, but somehow government has vacillated on bringing them under control, apparently for fear of repercussions from religious parties as well as militants. The plan further envisioned countering hate speech and extremist material through the powers vested in the provincial police and other authorities. Pemra and other regulatory authorities were tasked with checking and banning glorification of terrorism and militant groups through print and electronic media. The drafting of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct was also a positive step. The provinces were further instructed under NAP to raise a counter-terrorism force under a dedicated command structure. It is observed that not completely but to a great extent the government has proceeded in reducing cyber space to terrorist organizations and media adoration of their terrorist actions with effective cooperation of both print and electronic media. Strict actions are taken against misusers of social media for their nefarious activities. Therefore it is of utmost importance that the government and the security apparatus should commence a composed review of its policy framework and strategy to make it approachable and receptive to the threat which is not only real but forceful too. Challenges for this new military operation are not new but need concrete and long lasting steps. Firstly we need a counter narrative and strategy to address the encounters at all level. People need education and information about takfeeri ideology. There is a need to clear perceptions about takfeer and jihad in society. Ulema can play a great role in this regard but before that all religious groups need to be on one page as rifts and splits among religious groups are one main cause that any of the follower from certain group claim his thoughts and beliefs as accurate and factual than others. This definitely adds fuel to fire of sectarian violence. De-radicalisation processes are needed to be speeded. Those ex militants who have surrendered must be trained to become effective and productive citizen and amalgamated in society and accepted so that they do not revert back. Surely financial support matters a lot as it was observed that apart from brain washing of those radical individuals, handsome amount offered to families is one of attractive techniques to buy any individual for militancy. Madaris which are considered as essential school for learning religious education need wide scale reforms. Apart from their registration there is a need that government should keep check on their curriculum and other training methods. It was observed in previous military operations that local populace suffer most during such measures. We have seen that IDPs faced troubles but it is the responsibility of the government to make process of rehabilitation more speedy and feasible so that trust of people on government and military is maintained and they can ascertain themselves as compliant and accommodating. Military courts which are given extension for two years will definitely speed up their work but civil judiciary must also follow their footsteps for prompt justice to be provided to victims so that people’s trust is restored on them. Similarly police and LEAs must prove their efficiencies not in big happenings but minor incidents also so that normal citizen can look up to them in hour of need.
The security apparatus must be upgraded with the innovations of technology to counter any kind of hostilities.
Recently in a high level meeting headed by Prime Minister actions in operation Radd-ul- Fasaad was overviewed. It was agreed that elimination of terrorism and extremism is imperative for sustainable peace in the country. The meeting vowed to accelerate the implementation of National Action Plan at federal and provincial levels. The meeting decided that the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) would be expedited and made more effective. Moreover the meeting also appraised recent initiatives made for boarder management along with Afghan Border in details. The civil and military leadership also lauded the sacrifices of the security personnel in the war against terrorism. Apart from all efforts which are carried out at national level we should keep in mind that this is our war and we have to finish it. Together with initiation of steps at all levels we can bring a positive change and long lasting peace in our country.

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