Pakistan to create anti-terrorism force

Islamabad, Aug 14 (IANS) Pakistan is planning to set up a counter-terrorism force as part of a new national security policy to be presented to the prime minister for approval this month, a minister said Tuesday.

Besides the proposed Counter Terrorism Rapid Deployment Force the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) will also be reactivated that would serve as a focal point for internal security policy, Xinhua reported Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan as saying at a press conference.

He also briefed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif about the proposed policy.

The minister said a joint intelligence secretariat would be set up here which will be represented by all intelligence agencies in the country.

It will work round the clock to analyse intelligence reports and action would be taken within hours on the actionable intelligence.

Khan said initially 500 serving or retired personnel of armed forces would form the rapid deployment force but later its strength would be increased to 2,000.

In the second phase, similar forces would be raised in the provinces as well.

He added that preparations have also begun for introduction of legislation in the parliament to strengthen counter terrorism efforts and political consensus will have to be evolved for the purpose.

"The military leadership would brief the political leadership and then political leadership would discuss the agenda aimed at forging consensus on strategy to address the challenge of terrorism."

The interior minister said a joint policy on the US drone strikes would also be hammered out during a meeting with political parties.

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