Pak to set up consolidated databank on terrorists

Pakistan’s civilian and military law enforcement agencies engaged in counter-terrorism efforts have decided to create a consolidated databank on terrorists, according to a media report on Sunday.

Last Updated: Jun 26, 2011, 23:18 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan’s civilian and
military law enforcement agencies engaged in counter-terrorism
efforts have decided to create a consolidated databank on
terrorists, according to a media report on Sunday.

The issue was discussed at a recent meeting of
civilian and military law enforcement agencies, which agreed
to rope in the National Database and Registration Authority
(NADRA) to create and maintain the databank.

It emerged at the meeting that government departments
at the national and provincial levels were maintaining data on
terrorists for their own use and the information was
fragmented in the absence of a central authority, the Dawn
newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

It becomes "very difficult" to check the identity of a
suicide bomber or terrorist on a speedy basis irrespective of
whether he or she is a Pakistani or a foreigner, the sources
said.

This is a common problem faced by law enforcement
agencies.

The meeting unanimously approved a proposal for
managing consolidated data on terrorists on modern lines under
a central authority.

The function may be performed by the National
Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA), the report said.

Under the plan, NADRA will have separate databanks on
Pakistanis and foreigners suspected or found involved in
terrorist activities.

The meeting also recommended the reactivation of NACTA
on an urgent basis with adequate funding to implement its
strategy.

The NACTA Ordinance introduced in 2009 is yet to be
tabled in parliament, pending approval by the cabinet.

Former Federal Investigation Agency chief Tariq
Parvaiz was appointed the first chairman of NACTA but he
resigned after seeing no progress on the ordinance for over a
year.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani decided at a meeting
held on July 5 last year after the bombing of the Data Darbar
shrine in Lahore that NACTA would be reactivated.

The authority is to act as a research organisation and
the European Union had pledged 15 million Euros for it.

The law enforcement agencies also called for building
consensus among stakeholders to make stringent laws on
terrorism and discussed the creation of a special
anti-terrorism force.

PTI