Need for a strategic shift | Pakistan Today

Need for a strategic shift

  • Leading to a firm and  convincing action

Seizing  assets of all banned outfits under UN sanctions regime is a good first step. It should be followed by others that include ban on their publications and organisational  activities.

The government needs to undertake a decisive crackdown on whatever militant outfits  still exist in Pakistan on an urgent basis. Unless this is done the country’s vital interests are  likely  to be harmed. It was decided in the National Action Plan (NAP) in 2014 that there would be a comprehensive  action against proscribed groups which included  disallowing them  from operating  under different names,  cutting off their financial sources  and  no space  given to extremism specially in any part of Punjab.

The inaction has had consequences. FATF has called on Islamabad to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing and money laundering that  cause risks to the global financial system. Placed on the FATF’s grey list in June last year, Islamabad  has been tasked with removing its deficiencies by June 2019. After the Pulwama attack, which was strongly condemned by the FATF, the terror financing watch dog’s  stance is likely to stiffen further.

Noting that  JeM took responsibility for Pulwama attack, the members of the UN SC called for holding the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of “these reprehensible acts of terrorism” accountable and bring them to justice. They urged all states to cooperate actively with New Delhi for bringing to justice all those who were responsible for the attack. The PTI government announced a ban on Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insanyat Foundation (FIF) though these reportedly  continue to operate  under different names. As for as JeM is  concerned, the government didn’t go beyond stating that Masood Azhar is seriously ill  and confined to his residence and taking over the administration of his Bahawalpur seminary.

It won’t do to simply condemn past governments for inaction while doing nothing. It won’t help  holding any other institution responsible for taking the decision. It is the duty of the elected government to move ahead firmly to catch the bull by the horns. Cherry picking has cost Pakistan a lot. What is required is an indiscriminate   action that leaves no doubt about the country’s commitment to fight terrorism and extremism.