Safeguards or infringement? Counter-terrorism policies, the state and civil society in Pakistan
in Counter-terrorism and civil society
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Despite being a principal actor in the “Global War on Terror” (GWOT) since 2001, Pakistan has lagged behind in drafting adequate counter-terrorism (CT) and security policies. The first framework for internal security was the National Internal Security Policy, drafted only in 2014. Following the attack on the Army Public School in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in December 2014, Pakistan devised its first official CT policy, the National Action Plan (NAP). The NAP has been criticized for being militaristic in nature, broad in its scope but limited in ideology and objectives, and selective in its implementation. In recent years, Pakistan has also drafted or amended a number of additional legal frameworks addressing terrorism which include the AntiMoney Laundering Act of 2010 for terrorism financing, Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act of 2010 for cyber-terrorism, and the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 (including later amendments) and the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance of 2014 for a broad range of offenses. Overall, Pakistan’s CT infrastructure has been the subject of much debate, criticized for being indiscriminate, militarized, and providing sweeping powers to institutions of the state. This chapter takes a critical approach to Pakistan’s CT frameworks and delves into the implications these have on civil society, infringing upon human rights and limiting space for dissent, expression, and activism. In addition, it analyzes their impact on the financing of non-governmental organizations and the workings of international organizations within the country.

Counter-terrorism and civil society

Post-9/11 progress and challenges

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