The interior ministry has ordered the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) to establish a special cell to effectively choke terrorists’ financial networks.
The order came from Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday that discussed actions that were to be taken ahead of the chief ministers’ meeting, scheduled to be held on Oct 18.
He ordered the authority to speed up the process of blocking bank accounts, arms licences, passports, driving licences and any other identity documents of all listed members of banned organisations and any Fourth Schedulers who may help them in obtaining access to such state-run services.
The counterterrorism authority has also been asked to prepare recommendations for the streamlining of the list of Fourth Schedulers ahead of a meeting with provincial chief ministers on security-related matters.
Nisar asks authority to prepare recommendations for streamlining Fourth Schedulers’ list ahead of CMs’ meeting on Oct 18
Those listed under the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) are kept under observation for their suspected involvement in terrorism and are not supposed to leave their respective districts without prior permission. However, many religious leaders and members of banned organisations regularly flout this condition and local police have often expressed their helplessness in this regard.
Nacta recently asked all provinces, as well as governments in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, to establish a consolidated database of persons listed under the Fourth Schedule. The provinces maintain their own lists, which are said to be seriously flawed. There are approximately 8,000 names listed under the Fourth Schedule and estimates suggest that 20 per cent of those on the list were now dead.
The interior minister also directed Nacta to update the list of members of banned organisations to keep a close eye on their activities and to curb their re-emergence under new names or identities in any part of the country.
With regards to progress on madressah reforms and registration efforts across the country, the minister asserted that there should be uniformity in the registration process, which should be carried out by taking all religious leaders on board.
For madressah reforms, the interior minister directed the interior secretary and the Nacta coordinator to liaise with the provinces so the process was carried out in an expeditious manner while addressing the legitimate concerns of all relevant stakeholders in the light of decisions taken during a meeting between the interior minister and various Wafaqul Madaris, or seminary boards.
The meeting was attended by the special secretary for interior, Nadra chairman, director general of Immigration and Passports as well as senior officials from the interior ministry and FIA.
On INGO registration, the minister directed the officials concerned to categorise INGOs according to their field of development work and three-year performance in order to expedite the approval process for their operations in Pakistan under new criteria.
Regarding the central database of vehicle registration, the minister directed the Nadra chairman to come up with a plan.
He also asked the Nadra chairman to keep the public informed about the status of the ongoing CNIC re-verification drive, adding that a fast-track system should be evolved whereby genuine CNICs are unblocked within the minimum possible timeframe.