While there has been progress on many points of the NAP agenda, it is key that there is no let up in momentum and that the state maintains surveillance of the elements out to foment violence in the country.
In this regard, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi, while speaking at an event in Islamabad on Thursday, said that actions against proscribed organisations were being taken not under pressure of the Financial Action Task Force, but as envisioned under NAP.
“No one will be allowed to use our land against any country,” he said, while briefing diplomats in the federal capital.
In a similar vein, the army’s top brass announced at the last corps commanders’ conference that the military would support all stakeholders in implementing NAP.
It is a positive sign that all institutions of the state are on the same page regarding NAP.
Indeed, recent actions against militant outfits such as JeM and LeT, taken in the aftermath of the Pulwama event, indicate that the PTI-led government realises it must crack down on violent actors.
However, it is important that the state does not rest on its laurels.
Considering the strength of the jihadi infrastructure nurtured since the Zia era, it will take some time and considerable effort before it is dismantled.
The nation has paid with thousands of lives in the battle against militancy, so it is important that all violent actors are put out of business, to ensure these lives have not been lost in vain.
Moreover, equal attention must be paid to all 20 points outlined under NAP.
For instance, many sectarian outfits and those responsible for promoting hate speech are still active, though keeping a low profile.
As was reported, Maulvi Abdul Aziz of the Lal Masjid infamy recently led Friday prayers at the same mosque in Islamabad.
The fact that such a controversial cleric was able to pull this off indicates that loopholes exist.
In order to root out militancy and push the country in a more tolerant direction, the process of identifying and prosecuting hatemongers must be ongoing.
There must be zero tolerance for those promoting hatred of religions, sects, ethnicities and nationalities.
While freedom of speech is inviolable and needs to be protected by the state, those promoting violence against individuals or communities cannot be tolerated.
Moreover, choking the funds of hatemongers and violent entities is essential for Pakistan’s own security.
Madressahs and religious institutions that are dedicated to religious studies are fine; but institutions that promote jihadi thought and sectarianism cannot be allowed to function as usual.