Quetta commission reports govt. inaction against militant bodies

Islamabad [Pakistan], Dec. 16 : The inquiry commission on the August 8 Quetta carnage, which killed at least 72 people, including 53 lawyers of Balochistan, has called on the government to ban terrorist organisations without any delay by enforcing the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) in letter and spirit.

The Justice Qazi Faez Isa-led commission in its 110-page inquiry report submitted to a three-judge Supreme Court bench on Thursday said that terrorist organisations must not be permitted to hold meetings and people must be informed about the reasons for banning such organisations, reports the Dawn.

The commission was formed by the Supreme Court on October 6 to investigate the suicide attack on Quetta's Civil Hospital.

The commission also regretted that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had on Oct 21 met Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, the head of three banned organisations - Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, Millat-i-Islamia and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat - to listen to his demands and conceded to them as per media reports.

"ATA is equally applicable to public functionaries and they should not be cavorting with proclaimed members of banned organisations," the commission said, adding that hypocrisy must stop and that there should be a nationwide streamlining of national policy and all government servants need to abide by it, or face the consequences.

The commission regretted that the interior ministry did not respond to two letters written by the Balochistan government seeking a ban on Jamatul Ahrar and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Al-Almi in the aftermath of the Quetta attack for their involvement in explosions on February 14, 2014, and attacks on a police officer on July 6 and a Frontier Corps vehicle on July 27 this year.

In response, the director general (counterterrorism) of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) had on September 5 written to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), asking it to submit a comprehensive report on the veracity of the claims of attacks by Jamatul Ahrar and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Al-Almi so that they could be banned.

The commission was of the opinion that it was illogical for NACTA to seek verification from the ISI to ascertain whether the two organisations had carried out the attacks, particularly when both had claimed responsibility.

The commission regretted that the religion of Islam was being corrupted by extremist ideology and stressed the need for reclaiming public space to counteract terrorists' virulent propaganda.

The commission, which took 56 days to finalise the report, asked the state to re-exert itself saying the solution to the menace of extremism and terrorism is straightforward - abide by the laws, including ATA, NACTA Act, Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and, above all, the Constitution.

Citing the 2012 Supreme Court judgement asking the federal and Balochistan Governments to develop and maintain a databank of perpetrators and suspects of heinous crimes and terrorists organisations, including their names, aliases, parentage, addresses, photographs, thumb impressions, DNA, telephone numbers, weapons used, particular type of explosive used and their respective modus operandi, the commission regretted that nothing had been done in this regard.

The commission stressed the need of registration of all educational institutions, including madaris; entry into and departure from Pakistan needs to be properly monitored and all persons must have the requisite documents and be photographed and thumb impressed by FIA personnel.

The customs authorities must ensure that contraband is not brought into the country. NACTA must be activated and should do what its Act mandates. Periodic meetings of the board of governors and executive committee must be held. The National Action Plan should have clear goals, comprehensive monitoring mechanism and periodic reviewing, suggested the commission.

Source: ANI