Pakistani Counterterrorism Approach Still Being Hashed Out

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 14, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

The Pakistani gov­ern­ment has rolled out what it is call­ing the South Asi­an na­tion’s first coun­terter­ror­ism policy, but has yet to de­cide if ne­go­ti­ation or mil­it­ary ac­tion against mil­it­ants is the best ap­proach, the Wall Street Journ­al re­por­ted.

Pakistani In­teri­or Min­is­ter Chaudhry Nis­ar Khan on Tues­day said the na­tion has not de­term­ined to date if this was “our war,” not­ing that “ter­ror­ists are go­ing far ahead” in terms of or­gan­iz­a­tion and tech­no­logy, com­pared to law-en­force­ment of­fi­cials, the news­pa­per re­por­ted.

All Pakistani par­lia­ment­ary parties will meet this month in an at­tempt to un­an­im­ously de­cide on the course of ac­tion for the policy. The two op­tions are open­ing a dia­logue with Taliban mil­it­ants or pro­ceed­ing with mil­it­ary op­er­a­tions, Khan re­portedly said.

“If we choose war, it will be a whole­hearted war, not half­hearted, and for that, the whole na­tion will have to be ready,” the min­is­ter said.

Is­lamabad in­tends to es­tab­lish two new groups to com­bat ter­ror­ism: a rap­id-re­sponse force to deal with at­tacks and a group to man­age the in­tel­li­gence that oth­er Pakistani agen­cies col­lect, the Journ­al re­por­ted.

The Na­tion­al Counter Ter­ror­ism Au­thor­ity, which has been largely in­act­ive since be­ing cre­ated by the last gov­ern­ment of Pakistan, also will be re­vived, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per.

Pakistan has stopped short of sig­nal­ing that it would cut off sup­port for ji­hadist groups based in the na­tion that stage at­tacks out­side its bor­ders, the Journ­al re­por­ted.

The an­nounce­ment of new coun­terter­ror­ism activ­it­ies comes on the heels of in­creased ten­sions with neigh­bor and long­time rival In­dia over vi­ol­a­tions of a 2003 cease­fire at the Line of Con­trol in the con­tested re­gion of Kash­mir.

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