ISLAMABAD, Dec 16 : Pakistan has arrested nearly 100,000 people under a counter-terrorism programme enacted after a massacre of school children a year ago, though only about 2,000 of them were militants, a senior Interior Ministry official told Reuters.
The rare figures on results of the National Action Plan (NAP) could reinforce critics who say it has resulted mostly in indiscriminate clamp downs that do not solve long-standing security problems.
A solemn ceremony in the northwestern city of Peshawar commemorated the deaths of 134 children and 19 adults at a military school in a Pakistani Taliban assault, the deadliest militant attack in the country's history.
In a speech in Peshawar on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif barely mentioned the plan, instead focusing on the achievements of military offensives.
"We formulated the National Action Plan," he said briefly, but spent most of his time praising military action along the Afghan border that "has broken the back of the terrorists. It has destroyed their hideouts, their training centres and their infrastructure".
Pakistan announced the 20-point plan to tackle militancy after the assault on the Army Public School on Dec. 16, 2014.
Among its main thrusts are expanded counter-terrorism raids, secret military courts, the resumption of hangings and promises to reform the justice system.
Government officials say the plan is working, and no one disputes violence is down. Militant attacks killed an average of 90 people a month this year, down from 136 the previous year.
However, several factors have contributed to the drop in violence: ongoing anti-Taliban military operations predating the plan and a continuing downward trend of attacks over the past few years. ?REUTERS