Monday 15 March 2010

More woes for Pakistan's counter-terror agency

The director of Pakistan's troubled anti-terrorism coordinating body may resign after proposals he made for the way the organisation should be governed were watered down by the interior ministry.
Tariq Pervez, coordinator of the National Counterterrorism Authority (Nacta) had recommended the creation of a high-powered board of governors with the prime minister as chairman and senior ministers, along with the chiefs of the Inter Services Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau, as members.
However, after Pervez submitted the proposals to the interior ministry they were changed without explanation to make the Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, chairman of the board of governors.
Pervez has let it be known that this change will severely limit the effectiveness of the organisation. Had it been headed by the prime minister, then other ministers would have ensured they attended. But without him, ministers are likely to depute less senior staff to take their places.
The Nacta was established more than a year ago, with a great fanfare, but so far has achieved almost nothing. It has become bogged down in bureaucratic disputes over who should be in control, despite offers from Britain and other countries to finance its work.

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