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Bill passed to set up anti-terror authority

ISLAMABAD, March 9:  Pakistan’s Parliament has passed a bill for setting up a new organisation that will integrate counter-terrorism efforts by different bodies in the wake of criticism of civilian law enforcement agencies by the powerful army.  The bill for establishing the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) was passed by the National Assembly or lower house of parliament yesterday after incorporating some amendments suggested by lawmakers. NACTA, to be headed by the Prime Minister, will “unify and orchestrate national counter-terrorism and counter-extremism measures” by several existing organisations.   “Establishing the authority was necessary in view of the nature and magnitude of terrorist threats. It would present strategic policy options to the government to be considered and implemented by stakeholders,” the bill said. Besides the premier, the board of NACTA will include the Interior, Finance and Defence Ministers, the Chief Ministers of all provinces and the chiefs of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau , Military Intelligence and Federal Investigation Agency. The authority will be assisted by an executive committee headed by the Interior Minister, and a national coordinator and a deputy will execute the board’s policies and the government’s instructions NACTA will also be responsible for conducting scientific studies on extremism and terrorism. ]]>

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