To combat terror; be serious on Anti terror Act

By Makhdoom Babar


Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, following the tradition political SOP to deal with every crisis in the country, has formed a committee to recommend a plan of action to combat terror after the inhumane attack by RAW-TTP Networks in Peshawar. This committee includes members from all the political parties present in the parliament , that have miserably failed in addressing the issue of terror in the country during their own successive  and respective rules. Now Prime Minister wants the entire nation to believe that these failed political parties’ representatives are going to come up with some miraculous proposals to eliminate terror and that too within just seven days. The committee also includes a couple of retired and serving police officer to give their professional counter terror expertise to eliminate terror. One of these police officers is such a high profile counter terror specialist that instead of having him rendering his services to counter terror and crimes, Prime Minister found him most suitable to head a government department  that looks after the matters of ensuring smooth flow of traffic on country’s Highways and Motorways .Now this gentleman who is more interested in writing social columns in newspapers rather than  spreading anti – terror methodologies through his pen , the PM wants the nation to expect him coming up with extra ordinary anti– terror input. Similarly the other police expert on the panel is also known nowhere for any major counter terror methodology or achievement to his credit. To add salt to the nation’s wounds , a journalist, who was a very hyper and desperate member of the team , formed by the government earlier this year out of those individuals who were in favor of wooing terrorists and militants through a dialogue process has also been included on the panel of experts in this head committee. Only a fool of first order can expect that this gentleman could  be holding any plan to eliminate the terrorists other than wooing them through dialogue as that is what he has been preaching and pleading for throughout. With these factors persisting,  if the nation could still expect magical outcomes from the ongoing proceedings of Prime Minister’s committee then one can very easily say that this nation very strongly and rather only believes in miracles.

The Daily Mail very strongly believes that if the government of Mian Nawaz Sharif sincerely believes in routing terrorism from the country for good, it has got to be really serious in its acts to do so. The Daily Mail is of a very firm opinion that to start with, government must ensure the gravity and the depth of its  Anti  Terrorism Act, it needs to immediately de – politicize the same and bring a sudden and solid end to political implications of the laws under this Act. Government must keep in mind that if it would continue to exercise anti – terror laws for avenging the political revenges like charging Imran Khan , Tahir – ul – Qadri or other political rivals, which it would have to exercise during the legal actions against the terrorists who killed over hundred thirty children at Peshawar school and many others like them, It would just be making mockery  of these very sensitive laws.

The Daily Mail also believes that the political misuse of Anti Terrorism Act also appears to have caused a great deal of psychological impact on the minds and mindsets of the cops as well as the judiciary.  We argue that how can Government equate the Peshawar terrorists of RAW – TTP Network with Imran Khan etc,  If it would be ordering registration of criminal cases against these two under the same Anti Terrorism Act?  We question that how could government make police investigators believe that TTP Terrorists are real terrorists while politicians like Imran Khan etc are merely the political rivals while these investigators will have to proceed against both under the same anti terror legislation? We believe that this very sensitive misuse of this hypersensitive legislation has made the cases registered under Anti Terrorism Act as very ordinary and insensitive for both the police investigators and the jurists, psychologically at least.

Apart from de – politicizing and restoring the sensitivity of Anti Terror Act, government should also take steps t o de – politicize police and especially the police investigators. We opine that a police investigator, running after a politician like Imran Khan and hard core terrorists like of TTP etc,  in his course of investigations, would be doing so with the equal zeal, pace and determination as to him,  both  are supposed to be criminals of similar natured crime.

We suggest to the government committee that while recommending restoration of the sanctity  and sensitivity of Anti Terrorism Act, it should also recommend that future trials of terrorists must be conducted with a great secrecy , these trials should be conducted with ensuring the secrecy of the identities  of the conducting Judges , the witnesses, the prosecutors as well as the investigators and to ensure the same,  all trials should be held in-camera and where necessary , through video conferencing technology.

We, The Daily Mail, suggest to the committee that it should recommend introduction of summery military coats for trials of all the arrested terrorists as they have been arrested as war enemies and are not mere ordinary criminals. We also suggest that moral of US military courts that tried terrorists in Afghanistan etc during the war on terror, should be exercised as Pakistan is also arresting the terrorists in continuation of the same global anti – terror war.

In the nutshell, The Daily Mail very strong believes that if the government sincerely desires to route terror from Pakistan’s soil it must act very seriously and sincerely to restore the sensitivity and sanctity of Anti terror Act.