The NACTA is a federal authority to formulate counter terrorism and counter extremism strategies. It also develops action plans for implementation of these strategies. It formulates threat assessments with periodical reviews after receiving information from various intelligence agencies. This information is collated and disseminated to various law enforcement agencies in shape of alerts for conducting operations and initiating legal action including investigation and prosecution of terrorists. We make research about causes of extremism and terrorism and publish it periodically. We make liaison with international bodies to facilitate cooperation in relevant fields.
Progress on National Action Plan is monitored and presented to the government. A revised National Action Plan was formulated by the NACTA and approved by the government in 2021. The Revised NAP is main pillar of the government’s policy initiatives against extremism and terrorism. A National Counter Violent Extremis Policy has been formulated by the NACTA and now it is with the federal cabinet for approval. Once approved, it will be implemented through various stakeholders. We intend to make and publish national intelligence estimates.
Without technological interventions and data analytics, no organization can grow and meet modern day challenges. Our top priority is to modernize the NACTA and equip it with latest tools to discern the strategies and tactics of the terrorist organizations. An authentic data base is under development which will be accessible to all stakeholders and research scholars. Intelligence Wing is under revamping process wherein emphasis is on extracting information from Open Source. It will be converted into intelligence for helping the LEAs in their operations.
Internet has attained status of new arena where fifth generation warfare is being waged. Social Media is now widely used by the terrorist organizations to dominate the cyber space, making recruitment and collect funding. We intend to establish a specialized wing to monitor Social Media wherein terrorist narrative will be contested and a national narrative will be supported. Intolerance will be discouraged, and pluralism shall be promoted.
We have people from diverse backgrounds working for NACTA. They bring wide range of skill sets with them. Experts are consulted on various issues. Outreach is made to wide segments of society to spread messages of love and peace. Soft approaches give substantial dividends against extremism.
Pakistan is facing threats on multiple fronts. Extremism and intolerance have taken deep roots in the society for a long time. Border areas in KPK and Balochistan provinces are disturbed. Governance challenges have complicated the situation there. The Challenges are big and resources do not match the challenges. However, with professional manpower, strong resolve and inclusive approach, these challenges will be surmounted. Special focus will remain on the border areas.
We need to stay ahead of our enemies in strategy and tactics. Scenarios will keep changing and challenges will keep coming. New threats will emerge in the country and in South Asian region. The NACTA shall remain vigilant and be prepared to help Pakistan disrupt threats and maintain peace.
Muhammad Tahir Rai, HSt PSP
National Coordinator, NACTA.