The Steering Committee established to formulate the National Counter Extremism Policy for Pakistan (NCEP), has held its first meeting on the 18th of October 2016 at Islamabad. The Committee was established and mandated to evaluate the recommendations received from multiple stakeholders during National Counter Extremism workshop held in July 2016, and will formulate a National Counter Extremism Policy for the Country. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, the Convener, commended the timely formation of the Committee as a step towards consolidating the peace achieved and marked by visible decline in incidence of terrorism in the year 2015. The Steering Committee expressed resolve to build upon the contributions received through a long deliberative process, wherein multiple stakeholders including political leadership, religious leaders and scholars, academics, media, civil society organizations, civil and military bureaucracy gave their input on the subject. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed emphasized that the NCEP will be formulated under the framework of legal order and Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and shall recognize the supremacy of the Constitution as the grundnorm of the state.
It recognized the significance of contextualization of problem, causes, sources, and perspectives regarding extremism peculiar to each region in Pakistan, as a prerequisite for formulation of a realistic implementable policy document. In this regard, a meeting with provincial Chief Secretaries, Inspector Generals of Police, and Home Secretaries will be held in the coming week. Members will also be coming up with their recommendations to formulate the first consolidated draft in early November. The Committee laid down its road map for future and envisions to come up with a first policy draft by early November. It agreed that the policy themes will include concept of national security, building community resilience, culture revival, education reforms, media engagement, rehabilitating and reintegration, enabling environment, and a robust implementation strategy to ensure that the work bears its desired results. It shall hold weekly meetings for timely completion of the hugely significant task entrusted
to it. The roadmap included that work of the Steering Committee will not come to a halt upon formulation of a document regarding National Counter Extremism Policy, rather it will commence upon its formulation, viz. the implementation of the policy in collaboration with provincial and national stakeholders.
In pursuance to approval by Minister for Interior, regarding initiation of a consultative process for formulation of a “National Counter Extremism Policy”, the second round of meeting of stakeholders was held here in Islamabad on the 20th June 2016. These included prominent personalities of the political leadership from major Political Parties, Senators and Members of National Assembly.
Moreover; various Think Tanks, Social Society, Human Rights Activists, CSOs and NGOs were also among the participants.
The response and input from all the participants was encouraging and valuable to feed into the first National Counter Extremism Conference proposed to be held in near future.
Discussions focused upon six themes viz. Building Community Resilience, Internet and Cyber Space Radicalization, Cultural Revival, Religious Education, Rehabilitation and Reintegration from Prisons and Exit Environment. The participants agreed upon necessity of simultaneous focus on soft measures which is essential to sustain the peace achieved through the implementation of the National Action Plan.
A presentation on “National Narrative” was given by Dr. Khurram Iqbal, Assistant Professor, National Defence University, Islamabad at NACTA H/Q on 5th May, 2016 at 1430 hours.
All officers of NACTA, National Police Bureau and experts attended the presentation. The modalities of a national narrative were also discussed during question & answer session. This activity is part of the process of crafting national narrative.
National Action Plan’s sub-committee on Choking financing for terrorists and terrorist organizations under its recommendation No.5 “Need for an effective law to regulate and monitor activities of the Non Profit Organization/ Charities, both local and foreign” recommended to constitute a Task Force “To frame comprehensive model law for orderly operations of such entities, which will be strictly enforced” .
NACTA has taken initiative to formulate a strategy through a Task Force on the subject with the active input of all related Federal and Provincial Ministries/Departments/Organs along with other stakeholders. In this regard a meeting was held on 26th January, 2016 under the Chairmanship of National Coordinator, National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) to finalize the nominations for the Taskforce. The mandate of Task Force is to frame comprehensive model law for orderly operations of NGO’s/NPO’s/Charities in Pakistan. The representatives of all stakeholders at various levels (i.e. Federal Level, Provincial Level and NGOs Level) attended the meeting. Upon receipt of nominations the task force shall be notified.