Sharif approves formation of anti-terror force

Islamabad, March 19: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday approved the establishment of anti-terror rapid-response forces at the federal and provincial levels with quality and trained manpower, a leading Pakistani daily reported.

Sharif also issued directions to immediately establish a National Intelligence Directorate under National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) in a bid to strengthen coordination between military and civilian agencies, The Dawn said in a report.

The decision was taken during a high-level meeting attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Army chief General Raheel Sharif, ISI chief Lt-Gen Zahirul Islam and all provincial chief ministers.

Sharif gave these directives after reviewing the newly legislated legal framework dealing with counter-terrorism.

“The prime minister said the provincial governments and institutions had to work hard to contribute and establish a secure environment by eliminating terrorism as economic prosperity was linked with security and peace in the country,” said a statement from the prime minister’s office.

Sharif also ordered establishment of high security prisons in all provinces on a fast-track basis.

The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) led government had recently unveiled its new security policy, which envisaged the setting up of a directorate of internal security to oversee and ensure coordination of 33 civil and military intelligence agencies.

The directorate is proposed to have an intelligence and analysis centre comprising four intelligence groups replicating ISI, Military Intelligence, federal law-enforcement agencies and police intelligence departments.

IANS