Since the entire world suffers from terrorism, security measures have been enhanced to cope with this problem. Pakistan’s largest coordinated state retaliation, following the Peshawar school attack on December 16, helped emerge the National Action Plan – established by the government in January 2015 to eliminate terrorism and to support the anti-terrorist drive. – ‘So what really has the National Action Plan achieved so far?’ – Renowned journalist, writer and Reuters’ columnist Mubasher Bukhari and Professor Faizullah Jan – a noted professor, writer, author of ‘The Muslim Extremist Discourse: Constructing Us versus Them’ and an expert on Militancy, Afghanistan and Central Asia – spoke to Daily Times, shedding light on the matter. According to Mubasher Bukhari, the NAP’s implementation had been compromised on several fronts. Facilitators, apologists and even terrorists were roaming around the country freely, propagating terrorists’ ideology – which indicates that the NAP has not been enforced in letter and spirit. On the other hand, Faizullah Jan said that the NAP has not been implemented at all and believed that it lacked ownership which caused lethargy in its implementation. He said that the armed forces wanted the government to provide ownership to the campaign without taking part in decision making and policy formulation – leading to an uneasy civil-military relationship. “Rangers’ operation in Sindh is under very strong criticism as its focuses action against political forces instead of terror networks,” Bukhari told Daily Times. He said the federal government wanted to use the paramilitary force for political motives so the Sindh government was resisting it. The Pakistan People’s Party is also a victim of the operation, he said. Faizullah said that the operation was launched to stem terrorism in Karachi alone but the Rangers soon decided to include stemming ‘corruption’ as well. It is pertinent to mention here that fighting corruption is not a security issue; it has to be dealt with at political, social, and institutional level. “The federal government and the security establishment want to overstep its mandate by expanding the Rangers’ operation – both in terms of objectives and jurisdiction,” Faizullah told Daily Times. Secondly, the professor said, the federal government wanted to extend the operation to the entire province – which is tantamount to establishing a parallel government – as it encroaches upon the powers of the provincial government and the 18th amendment. He also shed light on the establishment’s trust issues with the PPP’s government – an anti-establishment party – showing that Pakistan has turned into a security state, pushing back the political privileges. Bukhari thrashed the government for failing to curb the promotion of terrorism through internet and social media and said, “The NAP had no success in making an impact on extremist views being spread on internet and social media.” Bukhari – while commenting on the responsibility for the recent Quetta blast claimed by different terrorist groups – said, “The Jamaatul Ahrar, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Islamic State militants are using ‘guerrilla warfare’ methods.” He said that the militants did not ‘require permissions’ to conduct their activities nor did they need to change their names – which goes against NAP’s demand of ‘the defunct outfits will not be allowed to operate under any other name’. Faizullah, however, alleged that Pakistan was still sticking to the policy of ‘good and bad militants’. He told Daily Times that the militants fighting ‘proxy wars’ inside Afghanistan and Indian-held Kashmir were running freely, while those fighting the state were being targeted. He said, “The only difference was of tactics whereas their (militants) ideology was the same.” The NAP was to reform criminal court systems, which Bukhari confirmed. “The new Chief Justice of Lahore High Court has taken some revolutionary steps but is facing resistance from various groups including the government,” he told Daily Times. Faizullah was of a different view and believed that the criminal justice system could only improve when the investigations were of ‘better-quality’ and security was provided to the witnesses. “Weak investigation and weak prosecution make it difficult for the court to punish the terrorists,” he said. “The repatriation of Afghan refugees can contribute to a slump in terrorist activities, but Pakistan has to come up with a comprehensive policy in order to not alienate the refugees,” he told Daily Times. He said that the government had to differentiate between repatriation and forcible eviction – as throwing them out would ‘lose the goodwill of common Afghans’ and damage Pakistan’s 37-year long investment. The international community, the professor said, had to be involved to successfully resettle the Afghan refugees and Pakistan cannot afford to push them across the Durand Line. “It’s a controversy,” Bukhari said, “There are conflicting reports about the figures.” He said the Pashtuns were resisting the government’s bid on the basis of ‘Pashtun Nationalism and believed that the government would not be able to achieve its target of returning the registered Afghan refugees back to their country by December 31. Commenting on KP’s ruling government’s grant of Rs 300 million to ‘Darul Uloom Haqqania’ – which goes against the NAP’s ‘register and regulate religious seminaries’ demand – Bukhari said that Haqqania was registered with the government but there were thousands of unregistered seminaries across the country and no action has been taken against them,. “In Punjab, out of the 40,000 madaris, 32,000 were registered till February 2016. The rest were given a warning that those not registered by April 31 would be shut down,” he said. Thousands of unregistered seminaries were still working in Punjab, without facing any action, he added. Faizullah, also commenting on the matter said, “It shows the opaque policy of Pakistan, especially the PTI government in Pakhtunkhwa. It has been trying to appease the madrassas instead of regulating them.” He said that peace could only be achieved if the civil-military leadership were on the same page and that forcefully regulating the seminaries would not help the cause. Bukhari, on the other hand, said that Pakistan could only attain peace by solving obstacles like the tug of war between the civil and military establishment, dual policy against ‘the good and the bad militants’ and the lack of conviction by the civil-military leaders.