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National Internal Security Policy 2018-2023

National Internal Security Policy 2018-2023

On May 29, the outgoing PML-N government unveiled the National Internal Security Policy (NISP) 2018-23 to address terrorism, extremism and other crimes effectively. The new policy, which is the continuation of the NISP 2014-18, has ascertained Daesh as the biggest national security threat to Pakistan by saying that “[t]he emergence of Daesh in close proximity to Pakistan has raised new internal security challenges. The potential for spill over in Pakistan with the support and collaboration of TTP and its offshoots is not a possibility to be ignored. This situation has been compounded by the return of battle-hardened militants from Syria and Iraq.” The new policy further reveals that there is adequate evidence that radicalisation and militancy is no longer limited to Madaris alone. Created with an unprecedented degree of consensus by all organs of state, the NISP is a comprehensive framework that sees security as a product of achieving both peace and national development.

Overview

Religious terrorism tops the list of four terrorism types pointed out in the National Internal Security Policy (NISP) 2018-2023 by the Ministry of Interior. Other terrorism types included sectarian terrorism, ethno-political terrorism and sub-national terrorism.

According to the policy, several of the active terrorist groups in the country espoused the stated aim of imposing their interpretation of religion, besides wanting to establish a global caliphate by discrediting democratically-elected governments and terming all civilian and military institutions un-Islamic. Most such terrorist outfits have already been proscribed or eliminated, but comprehensive action is needed to choke their sources of financing.

Several sectarian outfits originated in Pakistan and continue to maintain a presence, the NISP admitted. They often use violent means to target prominent personalities, festivals and places of worship belonging to other sects.

The NISP stated that confluence of ethnic identity and politics resulted in violence along racial lines to achieve political and economic gains. Karachi, it stated, being the country’s largest and most ethnically diverse city, suffered immensely because of such turf battles.

According to the policy, such clashes were often linked with conflicts over real estate, territorial control and constituency gerrymandering. The policy recognizes that sub-national terrorism – such as the one experienced in Balochistan – remained a persistent challenge for peace and stability in Pakistan.

Pakistan, the policy maintained, suffered a loss of $123 billion over the past 15 years because of terrorism.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA suffered the worst losses in the country since Pakistan decided to be a part of the global war against terrorism.

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