IS concentration in Afghanistan, says Nacta chief

IS concentration in Afghanistan, says Nacta chief

SAM Staff,

National Counter-Terrorism Authority chief Ihsan Ghani Friday said Pakistan was facing the threat of self-styled Arab-based Islamic State or Daesh although it was concentrating in Afghanistan.

Nacta National Coordinator Ihsan Ghani said this, addressing a pre-forum session organised for reporters on the first international conference, “Islamabad International Counter-Terrorism Forum (IICTF), 2018, being hosted by the authority. The IICTF is scheduled to be held from April 3 to April 5 in Islamabad.

While answering a host of questions, Ghani said the major presence of the IS was in Afghanistan, but its activities there continued to spill over into Pakistan.

Responding to a question about the statement of Foreign Office that Afghanistan had safe havens of terrorists who were involved in terrorism inside Pakistan, he said Islamabad could not isolate itself from Kabul. “If some country is facing internal strife, its neighbouring country becomes a victim of its impacts,” he said

Ghani said the Nacta was in the process of formulating first policy on Afghan refugees, adding it should have been made in 1979. He also said the authority had finalised forms for religious seminaries in consultation with the stakeholders and the same had been sent to the provinces.

Responding to another question, Ghani said the Nacta law only assigned the authority the role of coordination and policymaking, but now there was a talk about its role in operational matters.

He said the international community had endorsed the efforts of the Nacta with regard to terror financing.

“We have formed National Action Task Force on Terror Financing and have focused on two areas, recruitment and financing of terrorists, to curb the menace of terrorism,” he maintained.

Ghani said Joint Intelligence Directorate of Nacta would enhance its scope in future, where 30 different organizations, including intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, were sitting together for intelligence gathering and consequently sharing with the stakeholders.

He pointed out the Nacta had finalised the law on regulation and facilitation of charities and it had been shared with the provinces.

Ghani said extremism would linger on in Pakistan for some time, but both terrorism and extremism would be addressed.

Briefing about the IICFT-2018, he affirmed the theme of the conference was PEACE (Pakistan’s Endeavours and Achievements in Countering Extremism/Terrorism). He said this forum was going to become a regular annual feature.

According to a non-working paper of the Nacta, the objective of forum is to bring together leading international and Pakistani experts, scholars, practitioners, think tanks and opinion makers in the area of counter-extremism to deliberate on the current situation and future challenges.  The target audience will be think tanks, academia, researchers related to security, terrorism and extremism.