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Cosmetic actions?

The recent crackdown against prominent members of banned organisations such as Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Jaish e Muhammad (JeM) is a step towards the right direction by the Imran Khan-led government.
A key stumbling block was the non-implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) with opposition leaders like Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari highlighting the matter on several occasions in the past. NAP was formulated during PML-N’s last tenure, but it largely remained inactive owing to political differences and bureaucratic red-tape. Now that the PTI has finally decided to enforce the rule of law in letter and spirit with TLP being the first on the radar, it is hoped that key parties like PML-N would continue to lend their support rather than play petty politics of which the PTI set a trend in recent years.
However, can the crackdown steer towards a logical conclusion given how past similar measures were mere cosmetics?
During General Pervez Musharraf’s rule, similar steps were taken but for a specific reason. Pakistan was cash-strapped and financial aid from the United States and other influential powers was the need of the hour at the time. The events of 9/11 gave the then leadership an opportunity to bring in aid, foreign investment and tourism by taking action against homegrown militant groups.
Coming back to the present, Prime Minister Imran Khan has often mentioned about revival of the economy and encouraging tourism opportunities. There are three interlinked factors which pushed him for changing the state’s international dynamics.
First and foremost, the objective of the ongoing crackdown is to remove Pakistan from Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list to encourage a boost in foreign direct investment.
Secondly, tourism is one of PTI’s key goals and for that entrepreneurs and state officials have been working round the clock by promoting Pakistan as a viable and safe tourist destination.



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