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National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA): A wise step by the people’s government

Pakistan creates Counter Terrorism Authority
Sat, 12 Dec 2009

The move comes days after series of terror attacks in all major Pakistani cities that had left hundreds of people dead.

The Pakistani government has established an agency called National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) in a move to counter the current wave of violence in the country. According to Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik, the purpose of the authority is to reinforce the ongoing counter terrorism efforts.

“It would work as a think tank and would conduct research, propose measures and to chalk out a National counter terrorism action plan after consulting all stakeholders”, Malik said, adding that the prime minister had approved the idea, and a budget for the project had also been sanctioned.

The minister said the authority would have an intelligence wing which would operate in collaboration with the various other intelligence agencies and would strengthen the intelligence network in the country.

He explained that NACTA would act as a research organization for which the EU had pledged 15 million euros. He said Interpol had also shown interest in the authority.

The move comes just days after a series of terror attacks, in all major Pakistani cities, that left hundreds of people dead.

Interpol lauds Pakistan for setting up counterterrorism body
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ISLAMABAD: Interpol Chief Khoo Boon Hui has praised Pakistan for setting up the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA), hoping that it would promote greater coordination between intelligence agencies in fighting extremism and terrorism, it was learnt here on Wednesday.

An official source said wishing anonymity that in a letter addressed to NACTA National Coordinator Tariq Parvez, the international police chief said that setting up of NACTA was “a strong testament to the commitment of Pakistan towards addressing the menace of terrorism.”

“The NACTA serves as an effective counterterrorism mechanism by promoting greater coordination in efforts directed at combating terrorism,” he said in the letter delivered here last week.

Pakistan has been the frontline state in the US-led global war on terrorism launched after September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that had killed nearly 3,000 people.

It has been under intense international pressure to do more against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants who according to the US officials are using Pakistan’s north-western region as safe havens and planning attacks against the Western targets.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani set up the national authority last month and tasked it to draw up a national strategy in consultation with all the stakeholders to boost counterterrorism efforts.

Pakistan has paid a heavy price in fighting terrorism losing some 2,000 soldiers and suffering an unprecedented spate of suicide bombings and other acts of violence since it joined the US as an ally in the so-called war on terror.

EDITORIAL: Countering terrorism

The government’s decision to establish the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) is a welcome move. NACTA will serve as a focal institution to “coordinate and unify” national counter-terrorism efforts. It seems as if we never do anything when the need has been palpably felt for some time or until we are nudged from abroad. For the last two years, it was obvious that without a coordinating super-agency to bring all the intelligence and security organisations together, the struggle against terrorism would always be fought with one hand tied behind our backs. Fortuitously, since the European Union (EU) has pledged15 million for NACTA, the government has finally given it a green signal. Interpol, too, has expressed interest in this agency. Had this agency been formed earlier, things might have been quite different. Logically, the optimal path would have been to pool all the intelligence in order to pre-empt terrorist attacks. Arguably, because of lack of coordination, gaps emerged that were inevitably exploited by the terrorist networks.

Prime Minister Gilani has announced that NACTA would have three wings: one to counter extremism, second to counter terrorism and the third for research and analysis. Tariq Pervez — former FIA director general — has been appointed Chairman NACTA. It is not clear, however, whether the military and civilian intelligence agencies would answer to him.

There has been some criticism of the Interior Ministry lately as it has failed to pre-empt or stop terrorist attacks in recent months. Though this is inherently a difficult task, without good intelligence and with a lack of coordination at the national level, the ministry was hampered in countering terrorist activities. The intelligence agencies need to boost their efforts to infiltrate the terrorist networks. Although it is in the nature of the intelligence agencies not to share information with others, it is advisable at this point in time that they submit their reports vis-à-vis terrorism at least to NACTA. The terrorists have united under one roof, whereas our intelligence agencies work separately. This has made the task of the terrorists far easier. Thus it is very important that our security forces, police and intelligence agencies cooperate with each other to help eradicate terrorism from our soil.

The newly appointed NACTA Chairman said that once the agency becomes functional, a ‘national action plan’ would be drawn up, in addition to periodic threat assessment reports. These steps are of vital importance as the terrorist networks have to be dealt with with an iron hand. Military operations alone cannot serve the purpose; a proper plan of action is required to ensure that the terrorists are crushed. The belated move to establish a counter-terrorism agency at the national level is a step in the right direction. It is hoped that it lives up to expectations.

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Abdul Nishapuri


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  • Dear Sir,
    NACTA is the best intituation of Pakistan peoples party Govt: and i am appriciate this insituation. My comments already very will for our pakistan borthers because we geather & allied then defeat our Pakitani enimy terriorest. My documnet letter was to Interior Minister Rehmand Malak some months before against few local Afghan terriorest in (Nowshera) Sherin Quoty Rashakai Act-14 non nationality holder for information but could not take action against these terriorest few months ago. And email to FIA but could not any action, because i am not vain and success against these terriorest. when call me any meeting or geathering against the terriorest join any risk for our country & People thanks.
    I pryed for my nation & Pakistan “Sada Khosh Rahoo Abad”

  • i think Govt. of Pakistan should take solid step for establishing this department and hope that this department will definitely give good response and control the terrorism.
    We need this department to save our beloved country and to achieve our goals

  • this step to establish NACTA department is good. i think Govt. should also establish other relevant departments to control the terriorests and to save our beloved country.

  • I am law graduate and offered my services to pursue a career in an organization where I can fully utilized my experience/qualification and learns to enhance my capabilities by becoming as effective team member.
    My cell number is 0333-9404043

  • i have come to through newspaper the job opportunies was advertised in this department and i also applied for the post of Asstt: Private Secreatry, as i am also working as Asstt: Private Serectary in Judicial department East Division, Islamabad and am working since 2001, This is a good step to establish NACTA department and government should also be appointed honest and competent persons in this departments to control the terrorists and to save our beloved country. I am Master with good knowledge in English shorthand and typing speed 100/60 wpm, and i have also a 13 years experienced as A.P.S in Judicial Department and offered my services to pursue a career in an organization where I can fully utilized my experience/qualification and learns to enhance my capabilities by becoming as effective team member. My cell number is 0333-7573267 and 0333-7546128. i hope inshallah appointments would be on merit. Manthar Ali Brohi Islamabad (Berochandio Larkana (Sindh)

  • Recently the NACTAC has announced the posts, test has been conducted, we the candidates attended the test along with others who came from all over the country, but test was the test by name, no merit was seen in the process. PM Sahib please check?

  • Recently NACTA has been conducted the written test for the vacant post of different cadres.Many candidates did not received the interview letters due to this they could not reached/participate in the written test on schedule date.
    The administration of NACTA deliberately and malafidely issued the call letters of the Balochistan candidates on 29th Aug’2013, which were received on 2nd September and onward. .This practice of the administration of the NACTA seems to adopt the pick and choose policy in appointments, no transparency and merit seems.We request to all high ups that personally look into the matter and conduct the written test through NTS.I hope that you will do better in the interest of the Pakistan as well department

  • The establishment of NACTA is an admirable step by the govt to combat terrorist and extremist activities.We appreciate it and will also pray for it success.I am personally ready to cooperate and support Nacta and if possible I will share my all information about terrorism with Nacta member.I am also ready to join this department without getting any salary and will sacrify myself for our beloved country because we can not further bear the terrorism and we want to become unite and make Pakistan ,a peaceful and prosperous country.I basically belong from South Waziristan Agency (WANA).I am a practicing lawyer of High Court D I Khan.My contact number is 0333-333-9800.


  • Sir i appeared before your department i.e. NACTA for the post of Assistant Private Secretary, Thanks Allah, in which cleared both steps of written tests i.e. Typing with net speed 63 wpm, accuracy speed 94, and also good test in English shorthand, but i have not received any other interview call or information about my position for further. but i am further submitting that one candidate namely Hamid ul Haseeb, who gave his suggestion that test would be conducted with the held of NTS, but my dear friend and NACTA Director Admin for your kind information that NTS is also a corrupt and un sincere authority because recently NTS has conducted the tests for different category of the Honourable Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, the NTS has over aged so many candidates at least 600 to 800 candidates when all the over aged candidates have applied through proper channel but NTS still have no knowledge that what is through proper channel. prior to this the same NTS has appointed the appointments in the Katchary (Sessions Court) EAst and West division, in which they have appointed those persons who were not appeared in the tests and other kind information you that the NTS recommended 12 or above persons for the post of Stenographer / Assistant Private Secretary after conducting three time shorthand test when the same persons when they joined their duties, out of them 08 persons neither they are keeping shorthand degree nor they know the ABC of the shorthand, then how it is possible for appointments on merit. i am with polite request the high up if they want to test against they would be gone to FPSC or Pakistan Computer Bureau, sir if you want to justice or merit then you would approach to FPSC or PCB not to NTS, because there is merit. thanks

  • ISLAMABAD: With the Nawaz Sharif government lifting the ban on recruitment by relaxing rules for inducting counter-terrorism officers, the assessment exam held last week was marred by so many blatant frauds that it has turned into a farce.

    Around 500 candidates were caught solving papers through internet browsing on mobile phones and 50 of them were identified as ISI/IB officers who participated in the exam to try their luck, as lucrative packages are being offered to the new inductees.

    The openings were announced to fill 130 vacant positions, 34 of them for officers, in the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) that the government is betting on for a decisive war against terrorism. Merit is, however, not a visible criterion for these appointments.

    The NACTA chief national coordinator is also accused of nepotism as his personal staff, which was simultaneously involved in the assessment process and taking part in the exam and was also declared successful, raised further questions about the merit in these appointments.

    The recruitment process became suspicious right from the beginning as positions were advertised on August 16 setting August 25 as the deadline for submitting applications and then holding exams on September 1, just a week later, sparing no time for scrutiny.

    When the call letters for assessment exams were issued, the candidates at distant places received them a day before the test as a quota system was followed to invite applications from all the provinces.

    The manner in which the exams were held at the Liaqat Gymnasium, Islamabad, was no less than a joke. The timing for the exam was 9am, however, the question papers were distributed at 10:30 am. Again, the candidates outnumbered the question papers as there were 5,000 hopefuls, included among them PhD degree holders. Half of the candidates were made to wait as the staff was busy photo-copying the question papers for the remaining lot who received them at 12:30 pm.

    As the exam started, there were around 10 invigilators for 5,000 candidates, hundreds of them busy cheating since they were allowed to bring mobile phones. In certain cases, the invigilators were also found helping blue-eyed candidates.

    Hundreds of candidates armed with smart phones used the internet facility for browsing as 80 percent of the paper comprised Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and 20 percent for writing a couple of paragraphs on their suggestions on how to eradicate terrorism.

    As the candidates were openly browsing the internet on their smart phones in search of the right answers to MCQs and reading up on counter-terrorism for writing a para or so, there was nobody to stop them.

    Later, the marking process was also questionable. Several NACTA officials had also applied for the advertised vacancies in order to upgrade their positions and included among them was also Zeeshan Anjum, a close aide of NACTA’s coordinator, Hyder Ali, who joined the authority as a deputationist before serving as assistant on EOBI.

    Zeeshan had applied for the positions of assistant director and deputy director both. While his boss had prepared the question paper, Zeeshan’s seniors in NACTA were involved in

    marking the papers. Then a miracle happened: he turned out to be among those three candidates short-listed from Punjab/ICT for the post of deputy director, though many of his colleagues question his ability of writing one line in English. While papers were marked by his seniors, Zeeshan led a group of NACTA officials engaged for their tabulation.

    It is yet to be seen whether or not he is selected in the interview after qualifying in the written test for his wanted position (deputy director) as hundreds of candidates from Punjab failed. Interview panel has to be presided by his boss, Hyder Ali.

    As The News contacted NACTA’s coordinator, Hyder Ali, he admitted gross mismanagement during the exams.He acknowledged that mobile phones were also used for browsing and question papers were delivered with inordinate delay to several candidates.

    However, he offered a justification saying that they did not take back papers from the candidates found involved in cheating apprehending a law and order situation.Instead, he advised his invigilators to mark the cheaters so there papers could be cancelled later on and it was done, Hyder said.

    Other than private candidates, according to him, the officials belonging to the intelligence agencies turned out to be the trouble-makers as they started quarreling when attempt was made to take their mobiles away.

    “We later cancelled the papers of those found cheating,” he said explaining there were around 500 such candidates.A NACTA official confided to The News that there were 50 candidates marked cheaters who belonged to ISI or IB.

    Another NACTA official contradicted the coordinator’s claim of spotting cheaters and cancelling their papers later on. According to that official who was part and parcel of the exam process, cancellation of papers took place as a face-saving attempt after complaints were sent to the Interior Ministry from the ISI officials and other candidates so as to paint the entire exercise as transparent.

    NACTA that has long been used as a dumping ground instead of evolving as an active counter-terrorism authority, had tried in past to advertise vacancies during caretaker set-up but the request to do so was rejected by the interim government following Supreme Court’s directives.

    When the NACTA coordinator was also questioned about Zeeshan, he said he was working as assistant director. Asked then why did he apply for the position of assistant director (if he is already serving) and deputy director, he said everybody was at liberty to do as he desired. He however denied giving any special treatment to Zeeshan.

    what the hell! what about those people who were not cheating and spent thousands on the transport to reach the capital city

  • plz tell me sir kya ban sub inspector per bi lag gya hai plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz tell me es ke sirf running hoe thi aur woh bi merit per plzzzzzzzzz sir tell me i clear all step of this post..Now i listhen ch.Nisar banned this post why sir ………….hamara kya kasoor tha hum ne tou clear ke thi all step of running ………………………………plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Ch .Nisar sab do some thing for us.its my humble request sir.

  • this step to establish NACTA department is good. i think Govt. should also establish other relevant departments to control the terriorests and to save our beloved country. –
    I am post graduate MBA(HRM)and offered my services to pursue a career in an organization where I can fully utilized my experience/qualification and learns to enhance my capabilities by becoming as effective team member. My cell number is 03315197283

  • sir i offer my service to yr department because i m intelligent for purpose investigetion and i have more knowlegde of law i m physicallly and mentally very sharp person and force is my passion

  • Dear Sir,
    I have given a test of Steno typist in H-9 Markaz in institute, which name is given in my call letter i was come from District Naushahro Feroze Sindh. I have a little request please inform us why our test is cancelled even we have clear the test of typing and too short.
    I hope u can give us quickly answer.
    Cell: 0300-2205779