PESHAWAR: The present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has put its predecessor’s counter-terrorism strategy in the restive province on the back burner.
‘Checkmating terrorism, a counter-terrorism strategy (CTS),’ which is about how the provincial government departments could deal with terrorism sticking to their respective roles, was approved by the last provincial cabinet on May 2, 2012.
The ANP government had formulated the strategy during the last year of its term in office, so it failed to implement it.
However, the current PTI government seemingly doesn’t care two hoots about its enforcement.
According to experts, until the newly-elected cabinet overturns CTS or replaces it with a new one, it is binding on the government to implement it.
When contacted to know if his government wants to implement the strategy or scrap it, provincial information minister Shah Farman promised to get back shortly for official version.
However, he didn’t fulfil the promise.
While the discussion on formulating a national security policy and comprehensive counter-terrorism policy are underway at the federal level, the CTS approved by the last Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government almost a year ago awaits implementation.
Only the last month, according to media reports, PTI chairman Imran Khan criticised the (federal) government over inability to formulate a viable and holistic anti-terrorism policy and said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could no longer pay the price of not having a counter-terrorism policy.
He, however, failed to make a mention of the delay in the implementation of the provincial CTS by his party’s government.
Provincial chief of PTI and Speaker of the provincial assembly Asad Qaisar, too, gives the impression by news statements that the government is unaware of the anti-terrorism strategy formulated by its predecessor for the province.
The strategy could be implemented for peace in the troubled province without making any special budgetary allocations for it.
When asked if he’s any knowledge of the provincial CTS, Asad Qaisar said a consultative process was underway with the federal government for the formulation of a policy against terrorism.
“(Formulation) of foreign policy and anti-terrorism policy is the responsibility of the federal government and the provincial government could not do much on it,” he said.
Lately, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Baluchistan would have own counter-terrorism policy, while there would be a national security policy, too.
The government while planning to take all political parties on board during the formulation of the anti-terrorism policy is also considering the option of holding peace talks with militants.