Govt to set up body to deal with terrorism
* ‘National Commission for Counter Terrorism’ to get constitutional cover
* Zardari urges nation to unite in fighting terror
Daily Times, January 2, 2009
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to set up a high-level body – the proposed ‘National Commission for Counter-Terrorism – to coordinate efforts in countering the threat posed by the Taliban, a private TV channel reported on Thursday as President Asif Ali Zardari called on the nation to put aside their differences and unite in fighting the war on terror.
According to the channel, the commission – to be a constitutional body – would be headed by a ‘top-level professional’ to prepare and execute strategies, and recently retired Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) chief Tariq Pervaiz is likely to be the first choice for the post.
The channel said, “Officials cite fragmented [counter-]terrorism efforts as a reason to have a cohesive policy making institution.” Currently, the Inter-Services Intelligence, FIA and the Intelligence Bureau are all involved in counter-terrorism efforts, but there is no ‘umbrella organisation’ to coordinate their work, the channel said, adding that a ‘one-window task force’ is required to coordinate the counter-terrorism efforts of these agencies.