The National Action Plan (NAP) was devised by the Government in the aftermath of the brutal attack on Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar that killed more than 150 innocent children and teachers. The plan was devised to eliminate the scourge of religious extremism and terrorism from the country. The plan’s main objective was to ensure that the success of the military offensive against extremist elements can be complimented by taking other much needed steps to counter terrorism.
The major components of NAP included the establishment of military courts, countering hate speech, choking financial backers of terrorist organizations, registration and regulation of seminaries, action against sympathizers of terrorist organizations, execution of convicted terrorists, stopping proscribed outfits and armed groups from functioning in the country. The military offensive has been hugely successful, operation have also been conducted against terror organizations all over the country, the law enforcement agencies have successfully taken out many high profile extremist elements. However this is just one side of the coin, as the COAS General Raheel Sharif recently underlined the need for matching and complimenting governance initiatives are necessary for long-term gains of internal operations and enduring peace across Pakistan.
A new narrative to counter extremism and terrorism in the society was needed, which obviously was the responsibility of the Government, however, nearly a year on from the attack on the APS, a comprehensive counter narrative is yet to be seen. Similarly many points mentioned in NAP have been neglected which may hamper the success of the military operation in the long term. The Government should seriously rethink its strategy on the implementation of NAP; the neglected aspects of NAP must be immediately addressed to get rid of the cancer of extremism from the country.
The neglected elements of NAP must be immediately addressed for long term success against extremist mindset.