Untitled-1Islamabad, February 18, 2015: The Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies(CPGS) arranged a one-day Conference on, “National Action Plan: Policy to Practice”, in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung(KAS), in Marque Hall, Marriot Hotel here today.

The Conference, attended by large number of Pakistan-based foreign diplomats, practitioners, experts, academia, members of defence, civil society, media and students. The conference was organized to evaluate progress on implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.), President, CPGS, in her welcome remarks, said that December 16, 2014 was a turning point in the history of Pakistan and added, “We have no option to fail, and win we must.” The President CPGS also noted the adoption of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution as a significant step, but underscored that there is more that needs to be done.

Senator Sehar emphasized that the unity achieved in the aftermath of the Peshawar massacre needs to be strengthened further by aiming for the long-term, all-comprehensive and sustainable solutions to the problems.

The Senator praised the gallantry of the armed forces in fighting this crucial war and writing a history of valour with their sacred blood. She also said that that this arduous task required the support of all intuitions and organizations to harness their collective energies for a better future.

The Conference came up with practicable and beneficial ideas to help improve the National Action Plan. Eminent speakers from the legislature, policy-making, military, academia and think tanks delved into the various aspects of the NAP and its implementation strategies.The main sessions of the Conference deliberated on the prevailing internal security situation of Pakistan, along side the contours of the counter-terrorism strategy in light of the National Action Plan.

Chairman, Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, while inaugurating the Conference, underscored the importance of carrying out practicable steps for the effective implementation of the NAP. He commended the armed forces for the remarkable progress made in Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He further stated that Pakistan came out of the state of denial in fighting against terrorism in all its manifestations, after the December 16, 2015.

After the keynote address, by Senator Afrasiab Khattak, a tribute by two young children was given to commemorate the Shuhada (Martyrs) of Peshawar incident. The captivating and moving tribute was given a hearty applause by the gathering.

Lt. Gen. (R) Asif Yasin Malik, HI(M), Former Secretary Defence, elaborated at length the dynamics of the internal security situation in Pakistan. He also underscored the importance of reforms in the complete educational system. Gen. (R) Malik, stated that out of the 20 point of the NAP, only military courts have been established and the rest of the points are on the back burner. A number of recommendations were given at the end of his presentation.

Dr. Manzar Abbas Zaidi, Former Director National Counter-Terrorism Authority , also made a presentation. He said that Pakistan is on watershed of fight against terrorism and the NAP is an extremely important milestone in our history. While speaking on the contours of the counter-terrorism strategy, Dr. Zaidi stated that after 18th Amendment, security was devolved to the provinces and for NAP to succeed; efforts would have to be streamlined.

Dr. Moeed Pirzada shed light on the role and responsibility of the media in exposing the terrorists and their hidden agendas and generating awareness in society.

Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani, Chairman, Gallup Pakistan, outlined the economic and political indicators in Pakistan’s fight against militancy.

Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, President Research Society of International Law (RSIL), provided a critical review of the existing mechanism and framework after the 21st Constitutional Amendment.

Dr. Nazir Hussain, Professor, Quaid-i-Azam University, said that NAP needs drastic action. A ‘national security emergency’, a committed political and administrative resolve, and above all full financial and political support to the security forces are some of the measures that he suggested  would help Pakistan to meet this daunting challenge.

Maj. General Noel Israel Khokhar,HI(M), Director General, Institute for Strategic Studies, Research &Analysis (ISSRA), National Defence University, gave the concluding remarks.

A vote of thanks was extended by Syed Naveed Qamar, former defence minister, Member, Advisory board CPGS, to all the speakers and guests for their insightful presentations and active participation.

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