No one had ever thought that the morning of 16th December, 2014 would pierce the hearts of millions. The terrorists penetrated into the corridors of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar and mercilessly shot in all directions, killing more than 140 innocent and impressionable young minds. That morning sent shockwaves across the political and military spectrums of Pakistan. In order to robustly fighting with the perpetrators of this heinous and inhuman crime, National Action Plan was introduced. A comprehensive plan which discussed not only much needed reforms in madressah setups, but also suggested hunting down terrorists lying hidden in the mountains of north-west of the country. However, despite registering some spectacular achievements, National Action Plan has failed to curb the menace of terrorism and extremism.
Three years on, the saga of NAP continues to echo in the mainstream media and has caused political wrangling and bickering. Currently, due to governance issues, the implementation of NAP has come to a virtual halt. NAP is now being used as political gimmick and has resulted in the severity of civil military relations. The lackadaisical and reluctant attitude shown by authorities heading National Counterterrorism Authority (NACTA) and other committees has produced dismal results. Truth to tell, notwithstanding a huge expenditure, the overall outcome, as it is observed, is unsatisfactory,dismaying, dejecting and disappointing.
One of the staple tenets of 20 plans of NAP is to regularize seminaries and winding down those found inciting the subversive activities. Until now, no fruitful data has surfaced-enumerating what was outlined in the actual document. The recent data and facts provided by heads of seminaries and that of religious ministry depicts the gloomy state of affairs.
Thirty months down the road, we are still mired and trapped in an incessant debate of NAP's implementation. It seems that those in the corridors of power are adept at shifting blame and responsibilities. The politics of recrimination has become a norm here. The performance of NACTA is abysmal and it has largely been made dysfunctional. The report of Justice Qazi Isa, made public in 2016, speaks volumes about the ineptitude and lethargic approach of institutes at the helm of affairs in tackling the unbridled spat of terrorism.
In conclusion, Pakistan is facing horrendous crises. Currently, it is in the quagmire of two pronged battle-external and internal. Both the external and internal threats have the potential to instigate extremism and militancy and spread chaos and anarchy. Baluchistan is crippled by long fought insurgency. Karachi is still reeling from its past disastrous turf heaped by mafias and drug barons. Therefore, consolidating the gains hitherto made by the military is the need of an hour. Moreover, our country needs reshuffling of its policies with respect to internal militancy and hate instigating violence. This can be made possible when all the state machinery along with concerned individuals show vision, vigilance and commitment to effectively implement the National Action Plan. It is only we as a nation who have to bring change, as Allah says in Quran:
Allah does not change the conditions and destiny of nations until they change what is within themselves. 13:11