Free Press Journal

Pak to set up Rapid Response Force to tackle terrorism


Islamabad: Pakistan government today announced that it will set up a body to coordinate between its 26 security agencies and establish a Rapid Response Force backed helicopter gunships to fight terrorism.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the National Counter-Terrorism Authority will be revamped and made into a premier counter-terrorism authority while a Joint Intelligence Directorate will be set up for effective coordination among the country’s security agencies.

Pakistan has a total of six intelligence agencies and 20 security organisations.

“The total number of our security agencies is second only to the US but currently they are working without any proper intelligence-sharing mechanism,” Khan said.

The government has done a comprehensive analysis of counter-terrorism models in many countries, including India, to prepare its own strategy to tackle a deadly insurgency that has claimed some 40,000 lives in over a decade, Dawn News reported.

Unveiling the 100-page National Security Policy, Khan said, a three-pronged approach has been adopted to counter terrorism in the country.

The first dimension will deal with day to day affairs and shall be kept secret, Khan said. “It will be totally administrative and shall be reviewed weekly or monthly as required by the situation.”

“The second dimension will be strategic elaborating that how to proceed and operate when a situation arises. And the third dimension will be operational explaining for appropriate actions,” Khan said.

He said the government had two options either to continue with the status quo like in the last 13 years or move forward with a commitment to bring extremism to an end.

“We opted for the second and brought a policy within a record period of five months,” he said.

The Interior Minister also announced to establish a Rapid Response Force to work under the police.
This will be started from Islamabad with recruitment of 500 personnel initially and later Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will discuss it with provinces for raising there an identical force, he said.

Khan said different fields have also been identified to set up bases for helicopters to be placed on disposal of Rapid Response Force while an internal security division will be set up for coordination of the civil armed forces.