Pakistan lacks effective counter-terrorism policy: PIPS report

Islamabad, Jan 17(ANI): The internal security situation continues to be a pressing challenge for Pakistan, as the rule of law is lacking not only in KPK and FATA but all across the country, a Pakistani think-tank has said in its report.

"The security scenario indicates that critical security challenges still remain unaddressed, with the government yet to evolve an effective and comprehensive counter-terrorism policy," said the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) in its new security report.

It noted that the challenges consistently highlighted in the last few years had not been addressed, as "better coordination among intelligence agencies, capacity building of law enforcement agencies, curbs on terrorism financing and, most importantly, adequate measures to prevent banned militant groups from operating across the country remained persistently lacking."

In the absence of a comprehensive long-term strategy, the government continued to rely "almost exclusively on military solutions to the militancy in FATA," said the report, adding that the "failure to address the growing ethno-political and sectarian intolerance and the influence of militants in Karachi" as well as the continuing alienation and radicalization of a largely young and poor population in South Punjab had compounded the problem.

The report pointed out that Pakistan's military was "mainly relying on a 'hit, hold, build and clear' strategy", but the holding and rebuilding parts of this strategy could not succeed without public support and partnership, better coordination among federal and provincial governments and availability of adequate resources.

"The strategy requires political will to initiate bold action but also judicious implementation," said the report, adding that this would, however, be "hard to achieve without considerably improved cooperation among the military, the political government and the people."

"Adequate foreign assistance, in terms of financial resources, equipment and training, is also crucial to meet the challenge and must be ensured because Pakistan's stability is also crucial to regional and international peace," the report maintained. (ANI)

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