Citizens Group to Watch National Action Plan (NAPwatch)
Islamabad – March 13, 2015 A broad based alliance of concerned citizens today announced that they would monitor the implementation of NAP and related commitments by the government of Pakistan (including the military) to fight terrorism in the country. #NAPWatch will regularly review the progress made and identify the gaps that need to be addressed.
Thus far the most worrying aspect according to the group has been the dilution of NAP agenda as announced by the PM, the vital tasks of madrassa regulation seems to have been dropped. Highlighting the initiative, one of the initiators of #NAPwatch, Marvi Sirmed said that the group was expanding with every coming day with many noted citizens becoming part of it. She said that the presence of scholars like Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, activists like Reema Omer, Asad Jamal, Ali Hassan Dayan and Raza Rumi, journalists like Quatrina Hussain, Rana Jawwad, Ghareeda Farooqi, Fereeha Idrees, Taha Siddiqi, Maria Memon, Rabia Anam; former officials of law enforcing agencies Mr. Tariq Parvez, former IGP Shaukat Javed and Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob, politicians like Bushra Gohar, Sen Rubina Khalid, Meraj Hamayun, Syed Ali Raza Abidi, Saman Jafri and many other tall personalities from different walks of life, has enriched the effort with a unique blend of diversity and inclusivity.
Talking about the progress on NAP implementation, noted columnist and activist Raza Rumi said that the most worrying signal of weak commitment was the inability of the government to empower NACTA despite the lapse of three months. The military led model could only deliver in the short term, he said. He emphasized that until the civilian government assumes charge. the counterterrorism operations will not deliver.
Speaking about the progress of the government on NAP implementation, Khushal Khattak, a young activist from ANP’s Youth Wing, said that the government needed to brief the parliament about NAP, preferably in a joint session of the parliament. They need to share a time line for the implementing various aspects of NAP and share details of the portions of the plan that are being pursued currently, he said. Khattak expressed concern that the parliament was being kept out of NAP. The Plan was finalized during an All Parties’ Conference but the participants of APC or the Houses of parliament haven’t been briefed about it as of now. He said that strengthening democratic institutions cannot happen when civilian government undermines a forum such as the Parliament.
Former head of NACTA Tariq Parvez said that the government has to translate its words into concrete actions to show their resolve to deal with the terrorist threat post APS. The elimination of three points of NAP out of the originally agreed twenty is a cause for concern, he said. They should share the reasons for doing that, said Tariq Parvez.
Tahira Jabeen, an activist, expressed strong concerns that the proscribed organisations were not being touched despite the commitment made by the Prime Minister that there would be no good or bad militants. She said that the hate speech was poorly defined by the government who is making scores of arrests on flimsy charges of the use of loudspeaker, while the glaring hate speech against Ahmadi and Shia citizens was being done by the clerics publicly and with impunity.
Marvi Sirmed that the group will continue to watch the implementation of National Action Plan and would release government’s scorecard every month. This month, she said, the state of Pakistan has got the score of 1 on a scale of 1 to 10, one being the least progress shown.