Role of National Action Plan in stabilization of internal security of Pakistan

National Action Plan – a counter terrorism formula enacted following the Army Public School attack – has proved vital, in crushing the terrorist activities within the country, to a greater extent. The Plan, however, has remained behind achieving the expected goals as with the beginning of 2017, another wave of terrorist attacks has overwhelmed the scenario. The outcomes of the Plan have remained mixed: with some stories of success and other tales of failure.

Understanding National Action Plan (NAP)
National Action Plan is the name of several points anti-terrorism agenda that the civil and military leaderships of Pakistan, along with all the political parties in opposition, agreed on following the deadly Army Public School terrorist attack. The Plan was meant for crushing the terrorism and rooting out their very existence for the internal security of Pakistan.

The Role of NAP in Stabilizing the Internal Security of Pakistan
National Action Plan’s role in stabilizing the internal security of Pakistan can be assessed under following points:

  • The Plan, with its clear cut outline of action against the terrorists, has enabled the security forces of Pakistan to avoid feeding any second doubts and act promptly against the evil masterminds all across the country.
  • The plan played its positive role in enabling the military establishment to boost the Operation Zarb-e-Azb along with starting the strategic operations in major cities like Karachi.
  • The Plan has enabled the civil military leadership to be on the same page in terms of action against terrorism thus making the counter-terrorism measures more effective.
  • The Plan has brought the major terrorists groups like TTP to knees even though the latter’s existence still cannot be undermined
  • The Plan, however, failed to ignite proper and effective re-invigoration in the non-military security forces. It remained dependent on the military troops for its enactment on the ground. Hardly, civilian forces have played any commendable role in upholding this plan except by supporting it in words.
  • Owing to the political controversies attached with the Plan, its role has been undermined. Not all the political parties are in good terms with certain provisions of the Plan including the operation in Karachi and action against Madrassahs.

Outcomes of the National Action Plan
They can be enumerated as following:

  • NAP resulted in a boosted and successful operation against terrorists hiding in the tribal belt of Pakistan
  • NAP brought the outcome of successful operation against the Urban militia in Karachi along with igniting action against sectarian groups in the Southern region of the Punjab
  • NAP ensured the outcome of civil military cooperation over counter-terrorism measures
  • NAP, to a greater extent, lowered the number of terrorist attacks thus strengthening the internal security of Pakistan.

National Action Plan has proved relatively a good and effective agenda against the terrorists hiding out and spreading violence in Pakistan. It has helped the internal security to improve with better outcomes. Beyond that, the Plan remains victim of its own success. It has been facing political controversies along with limited attention of civilian government thus undermining the effort to improve internal security.