- Cabinet approves 86-page NIPS, country’s first internal security doctrine
- Talks with those who opt for unconditional ceasefire
- Guns for those who refuse to join dialogue
- IDPs, women, children from affected tribal belt to be taken care of
The federal cabinet on Tuesday gave a formal approval to the draft of National Internal Policy of Security (NIPS), vowing that surgical strikes would be carried out in response to all terrorist attacks, whether targeting the security forces or the civilians.
Well-placed sources told Pakistan Today that the NIPS is the improved form of the National Security Policy which was earlier rejected by the cabinet in January this year.
“The cabinet was informed that the military and the government were on the same page vis-à-vis two pronged strategy adopted by the PML-N-led government. Under the plan, dialogue process would only be held with those militant groups who were ready for an unconditional ceasefire while force would be used against those challenging the writ of the government or attacking, either military or civilians,” sources added.
Sources said that the cabinet agreed upon conducting peace talks with those TTP factions willing to talk while military strikes against militants against the dialogue process would be continued to squeeze them for joining the talks process.
“It was decided that the door for dialogue process would always be kept open for those militants who were willing to talk and were eager to announce a ceasefire. Others would be screwed by continued surgical strikes and air raids to bring them on talking terms so a peace deal could be attained,” the sources added.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his initial remarks set tone of the cabinet proceedings, stating that the banned TTP should not take the government’s desire for peace as its weakness and that the writ of the government shall be implemented “at all costs”.
Cabinet members from the JUI-F, Akram Khan Durrani and Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, did not attend the cabinet meeting, in protest to the recent airstrikes in NWA.
The prime minister asserted that the government had taken up negotiations with the TTP in “all sincerity and in good faith”, adding that the government had made special arrangements for their assigned committee members to visit NWA for counselling. “But, in response, they attacked our armed forces and innocent civilians. They have made negotiations a fruitless exercise in futility,” he maintained.
“The cabinet also agreed that the government would take care of the women and children during the surgical strikes. Special care will be given to internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are negatively impacted by the aerial strikes,” the sources said, adding that the IDPs from the NWA will be provided a special package.
The cabinet decided that Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch will monitor the issues of people migrating from NWA.
Members of the cabinet also called for the TTP to announce an unconditional ceasefire and renounce terrorist activities without any preconditions, the sources added.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan gave a detailed briefing to the cabinet on the proceedings and developments of the dialogue process with the banned TTP, surgical strikes against terrorists and future strategy.
He will announce the security policy in the National Assembly today (Wednesday).
IMPORTANT FEATURES OF SECURITY POLICY
Sources said that under the new security policy, a joint intelligence directorate would be established to enable exchange of information between various agencies more effectively at federal and provincial levels.
Under the five-year plan of the 86-page document of the security policy, the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) would be the focal forum for national security, while the heads of the army, air force and the navy would be among members of the NACTA, the sources added. The sources said that all decisions regarding handling of terrorism would be taken at the highest level.
Sources also said that the cabinet was informed that following the new security doctrine, Pakistan would become sixth country of the world to have over 600,000 security officials with the strength of 33 national security organisations, including the police and other civil armed forces at the federal as well as the provincial level.
The cabinet was informed that Pakistan was the most affected country by terrorism in the world after Iraq or any other Middle East country. It was informed that the scenario in Pakistan was dangerous to the extent that it posed an “existential threat” to the integrity and sovereignty of the State of Pakistan.
“From 2001 to 2013, there were 13,721 incidents in Pakistan which is marginally less than Iraq. From 2001 to 2005, there were 523 terrorist incidents in Pakistan but from 2007 to November 2013, the total number of incidents has risen to 13,198,” said the draft of security policy.
The cabinet was informed that from 2001 to November 2013, 48,994 people were killed in the country including 5,272 personnel of the law-enforcement agencies, a large number of them – 17,642 – having been killed in just three years from 2011 to 2013 including 2,114 personnel of the law-enforcement agencies.