Former Inspector General of Police Dr Kaleem Imam has called for concerted efforts to fight terrorism in Pakistan.
He was speaking at an event titled ‘Terrorism and State Response’ organised by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) here.
Imam termed maintenance of law and order, prevention and detection of crime, provision of security, prosecution of criminals, and countering organised crime as essential in a state’s response to terrorism. He shared that between 2017 and 2020, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in Pakistan conducted 375,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs).
Listing the achievements of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in 2020, Imam shared that it had resulted in the freezing of assets and check on the movement of members of 78 terrorist organizations and killing of 353 terrorists. He added that Pakistan had come down from 6th in the Crime Index Ranking to 106th as a result of all the successes of the government against terrorism. He also listed the signing of the Paigham-i-Pakistan edict by 1,800 religious scholars as a success in countering religious extremism and promoting tolerance.
Imam emphasized both hard and soft interventions for countering terrorism in Pakistan. In terms of soft responses, he called for participative political processes, dialogue, socio-economic development, and reform for countering terrorism and extremism. In terms of hard responses, he emphasised the importance of modernization of the LEAs, formation of a rapid response force, and formulation of a counter-terrorism department.
Commenting on the legal developments related to terrorism, Imam mentioned the Suppression of Terrorists Act 1975, the Anti Terrorism Act 1997, the Regulations Action in Aid of Civil Powers 2011, the Fair Trial Act 2013, the Punjab Protection of Vulnerable Persons Rules 2015, and the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. Highlighting the importance of police action against terrorist organizations, Imam cited the findings of a study conducted by the US Rand Corporation. He shared that the study had found out that 40% of terrorist groups had ended through joint police/intelligence operations.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2022.