National Action Plan (Editorial March 2015)


Promoting Courage, Spirit and Resilience

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” _Nelson Mandela

There come some moments in the lives of nations when dark clouds of despondency and despair obscure the ways to moving forward in the right direction. During such testing times, nations are faced with multifarious crises which could be overcome only through a positive national narrative based on sagacity, prudence and, of course, resilience. And, the nations who come out of these turbulent periods victoriously are truly the great ones.

The monstrosity of terrorism has been taking a heavy toll on Pakistan since more than a decade now. The savage terrorists have been orchestrating the heinous acts of terror in all parts of the country — and ironically have been going scot free. But, when they martyred innocent children at the Army Public School Peshawar, our political and military leadership in unison with the civil society decided that enough is enough; the enemy had crossed all limits and it doesn’t deserve leniency anymore. So, the government decided to strike a decisive blow to them.

It is no less than a universal truth that dealing with such an enormous challenge needs efforts on all fronts. While Pakistan Army intensified Operation Zarb-e-Azb on the war front, country’s political elite sat together to plan for waging a noble jihad on the ideological front as well. And, it was like a whiff of fresh air in the strained political atmosphere that the country’s leadership unanimously developed a prudent, pragmatic and well-thought-out National Action Plan. The efforts to implement the policies laid down in NAP got right away into action. All the federating units of the country launched actions in their respective territories to weed out these bêtes noire.

A recent review of the NAP suggests that the country has made considerable progress on the implementation front. In a recent meeting, Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was told that the country has achieved 22 tasks including setting up of military courts, transfer of cases, and has taken significant steps to eliminate terrorists. Pakistan Army has also achieved huge successes against the terror outfits in tribal areas; it is evident from the fact that the occurrence of terror incidents in the country has significantly dropped. Moreover, a dissection of the briefing reveals that the Punjab province is leading from the front under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who along with his team is working vigorously to achieve the goals set in the NAP. Other provinces should also follow the suit and put in all-out efforts to implement this plan of Pakistan’s security in letter and spirit.

These reports are tremendously encouraging, but as they say there is always a room for improvement, there still needs a lot to be done. Although the federal and the provincial governments have done a lot to educate the youth of Pakistan, a consolidated campaign to inculcate the qualities of courage and resilience needs to be launched as early as possible. It’s true that we can achieve the goal through introducing radical changes in the syllabi we teach at schools, colleges and universities, but this tedious process will take a lot of time. However, firefighting can be done by making such material available to the students which may attract their attention. This will not only inculcate in them the habit of reading ergo creative thinking but will also make them aware of the true message of peace and harmony which we direly need today.

Pakistan is passing through a critical phase. It needs to present its real soft image to the world. We, as Pakistanis, must unite and show to the world that we are a peace-loving nation. We know that the anathema of terrorism can be dealt with the antidote of spirit, courage and resilience. We have all what it takes to be a great nation that we are destined to be.

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