MQI regrets lack of comprehensive anti terror policy

Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, Secretary General of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, has said that terrorism presents the most formidable challenge to the state and society despite military operations in Swat and South Waziristan. Terrorist networks, he added, still possess the capacity to hit at strategically important places as is manifest from the suicide attack on the Data Darbar about two weeks ago. He said that lull in terrorist activities across the country should not make the government machinery rest on its past laurels as it may be a ploy by the terrorists to gain time.

Dr Raheeq Abbasi expressed these views while delivering a keynote speech at a local university on the topic of “Terrorism & our Response”. He said that the government fell short of addressing the terrorist problem in entirety. “The formation of Parliamentary Committee on National Security in the wake of All Parties Conference was welcome news. There was hope that the state would be able to present a holistic and unified response to the terrorism challenge but there is no news of the Committee afterwards,” Dr Abbasi opined.

He said that lack of concerted and integrated anti-terror policy was contributing to the increase of terrorist incidents. Despite declarations to the contrary, the official response remains reactive at best wherein the government agencies get into action mode after the terrorists strike at will. He deplored the fact that there was no agency responsible for different functions such as coordination, intelligence gathering and sharing to spearhead the anti-terror initiative. The government did hint at establishing anti-terror authority but the organization has not been heard of ever since.

Dr Abbasi said that in the absence of institutional response to terrorism, the anti-terror effort was not bearing fruit. He also blamed the release of those accused of serious terrorist crimes on account of lack of sufficient evidence on the government for its lukewarm attitude. He asked the parliament to consider the proposal of Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri to legislate on the fresh anti-terror law in an emergency sitting to plug the loopholes in the system.

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