Pakistan of today is an exception to inter-institution understanding as all the pivotal pillars of the state stand in complete harmony with one another.
The recent high profile meeting, under the guidelines given quite intelligently and firmly by the prime minister, has been a big success. Success in the sense that it has removed all the stumbling blocks that had continued to exist in the past on account of sharp differences of opinion among institutions on different issues especially the most compelling issue of national security.
Knowledgeable analysts rather believe that, in the past, national security issues had assumed alarming proportions and became formidable and unmanageable only and only because of these sharp differences among the institutional heads and their next in hierarchy. No more discord, says the PM’s vision and his firm stand on wiping out terrorism and extremism from the country. And PM means what he says. His firm tone with which he has declared a war to protect the innocent women, children and citizens of Pakistan, is a source of relief for the terrorized masses.
Even in the recently held federal cabinet meeting on security, local bodies and other important issues, it was decided, in the same breath, to do away with the lacunae in the criminal justice system or plainly speaking in our systems of policing and crime-handling. These lacunae were there but no government was willing to take them up despite prodding by the armed forces to remove these impediments that were leading to the strengthening and emboldening of the militarized insurgents and desperados conducting their inhuman activities with complete freedom and impunity. The good news now is that, after having achieved all-sector harmony the government has started working on identifying and then doing away with legal loopholes that was never done with this much of commitment and perseverance in the past, in general, and during the last five years in particular.
Much more encouraging is the federal cabinet’s resolve to reinforce the essential most element of deterrence in the law of the land meaning thereby in the anti-terrorism laws. Deterrence, according to world-renowned jurists and legal experts, is the soul of penal codes all over the world as it has, to date, proved to be the most effective tool of prevention of criminal activities, terrorism being no exception.
In the federal cabinet meeting, amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Bill have been approved, sanctioning more powers for Rangers in their endeavour to restore law and order in Karachi.The amendments will allow the security forces to use force to prevent a terrorist act, with omission of the phrase ‘when fired upon’ and target killers, extortionists and kidnappers will also be treated as terrorists.
Additionally, the armed forces or civil armed forces will be authorized to detain a person involved in such offences for three months for investigations.The revised draft of the Bill will now be presented before the parliament for approval.
Well-informed circles say that prime minister has issued specific instructions to make the anti-terror laws fully effective by way of removal of all the bottlenecks and loopholes. He is particularly worried over the quick release of terrorists including serial killers as their trials in courts usually end up in their exoneration in more than 80/90 per cent of the cases. And in this area, PM Sharif has never felt any restraints or fear in expressing his innermost convictions on this issue.