The Real National Action Plan? Targeting Minorities

“Is NAP napping?” It is a common phrase heard from political opposition and liberals. However if the National Action Plan appears to be napping while militant groups like Jamaatud Dawah and ASWJ continue acting without any concern of being approached, the government is taking action against others.

National Action Plan is being used to discriminate against Ahamdis in Punjab, where their books and literature have been banned by authorities who accuse them of ‘promoting feelings of enmity and hatred between different classes of citizens’. ASWJ is allowed to promote an ideology of hate against an entire class of citizens, but Ahmadis are being accused of ‘promoting feelings of enmity and hatred’ simply by existing.

It is not only Ahmadis who are being targeted. Human rights NGOs are also in the government’s sights. The latest victim is Christian human rights worker Rubina Feroze Bhatti who has received multiple international awards for her services to society’s downtrodden including the UN’s prestigious N-Peace Award.

Rubina Feroze Bhatti

To repay her services, the government has sent teams of police to harass her and a few days ago her NGO Taangh Wasaib Organization (TWO) was shut down by police and 8 of her staff were detained. According to officials, her work promoting communal interfaith harmony has ‘defamed the country’.

Militant groups like Jamaatud Dawah and ASWJ roam free in the streets spreading their violent ideologies and the government sits quietly as if nothing is happening. Is its silence a quite approval? Some say that there is nothing that can be done because these groups are not breaking the laws, but then what laws are religious minorities breaking by merely existing? By ignoring extremist hate groups and targeting minorities, the government is sending a clear message about what the real national action plan is.

What is missing from fight against terrorists

Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif has declared that 2016 will be the year when terrorism is eliminated from Pakistan. This is something that the entire nation hopes and prays for, but if it is to come true there will need to be a significant change in counter-terrorism operations.

Continue reading

Madrassah Reform? We Have A Much Bigger Problem Now.

When the government put forth the National Action Plan at the beginning of the year, the nation breathed a sigh of relief. Finally something was going to be done about those seminaries that were acting as incubators of extremism and breeding grounds for terrorists. Sadly, nothing has been done. The powers that be have been busy cracking down on secular political parties that may or may not have some members involved in petty crimes while completely ignoring the factories producing terrorists who continue to wage war against us. However, these are not the only priorities that need to be reevaluated. Madrassah reform remains a necessary action, but unfortunately we have a much bigger problem now as the extremist ideology is not only being propagated in unregulated seminaries but also in our universities.

Continue reading

The Price of Inaction

Morality brigades deface billboards in Islamabad

Zarb-e-Azb operations may have damaged TTP’s ability to plan and carry out mass killings, but even Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel has said that terrorism cannot be defeated by armed forces alone. Defeating terrorism requires not only eliminating their ability to carry out attacks, but eliminating the extremist mindset behind such attacks. This was supposed to be addressed by the National Action Plan, but once again we are faced with strong words followed by no actions and the results are showing.

Continue reading