Role of parliament seems missing in guiding documents about security, due in 2018


ISLAMABAD Jan 12 (TNS):  There are signs that some new guidelines pertaining to different aspects of country’s security will be released in 2018. The country’s first National Security Policy and a review of National Internal Security Policy are some of them. Yet, it is unclear if parliament has been engaged in any such critical policies.

This was stated at the report launch of “Pakistan Security Report 2017” and discussion on “Emerging Security Threats in Pakistan.”

PIPS director Muhammad Amir Rana shared the NSP is supposed to be all-encompassing, covering traditional as well as non-traditional aspects of country, while NISP will be a step ahead of the previous one. He shared it is being said that national narrative against extremism is also being worked upon.

Yet, he reminded, the details or the processes are not known; it begs question as to why the role of parliament is missing in these exercises.

Participants called for taking concerted, clear efforts to shape policies against them.

Referring to the report released by PIPS, Amir Rana noted that more than three years to National Action Plan, and there is still ambiguity as to which government body is in-charge for NAP. Various bodies were at one point or another tasked to deal with it: the 16 implementation committees constituted immediately after NAP, Ministry of Interior, apex committees in the provinces, NACTA, and National Security Advisor. Yet there is confusion over their precise roles.

Senior journalist Baqir Sajjad said the process mainstreaming of militants should be transparent, if at all, and recommended that no one in the fourth schedule be allowed to contest elections in 2018.

Scholar Dr. Farhan Zahid said some militant groups in Pakistan have sworn allegiance to IS. He argued that the state is serious in tackling the threat of IS.

Journalist Azaz Syed said that while in the first half of 2017, the government was busy implementing NAP, the year ended did not end on high note, as some elements had literally blockaded Islamabad.

Journalist Tahir Khan said that while militancy in FATA is down, there are still some traces of it. He called for giving the people of FATA their due rights. “They want reforms”, he said.