ISLAMABAD - The civil and military leadership of the country met on Monday to discuss national security issues and took some key decisions.
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, along with ISI Director General Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar, visited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his senior cabinet colleagues at the PM House.
They discussed steps being taken under the national action plan against terrorism, progress of military operation in tribal areas, engagement with India in the prevailing provocative environment, status of Afghan peace talks and situation emanating from MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s recently delivered hate speech.
Sources informed The Nation that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif briefed the prime minister about the targets achieved in the ongoing Zerb-i-Azb military operation and rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the areas cleared from militants.
Premier Nawaz directed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who was also present there, for timely release of funds for the smooth execution of the rehabilitation process. He also asked him to provide maximum possible funds for rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure so the IDPs could resettle in their areas with ease.
The meeting also discussed the status of Pakistan-facilitated direct talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban which remain suspended after the death of militant group chief Mullah Omar.
They also looked into the peace prospects under the leadership of new Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who in a recent statement disowned the dialogue process and called on his followers to continue the fight. It was stressed that the peace process should continue and Pakistan would continue playing positive and constructive role in leading the dialogue process to success through proactive mediation.
Both the military and political leadership expressed concern over the hostile posture taken by India against Pakistan, unprovoked firing by Indian troops on civilian population in Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and the Sialkot Working Boundary. It was decided to not only take this issue with the Indian government but also raise it at all available international forums.
The expected meeting between the national security advisers (NSAs) of both the countries in the latter half of this month also figured in the meeting and it was decided that Pakistan would raise all key issues with India in that.
Karachi targeted operation was also discussed and both the prime minister and COAS expressed satisfaction over the pace of the operation and the targets achieved so far. The meeting agreed to continue operation against criminals in the port city.
It was also agreed upon in the meeting that strict action would be taken against MQM chief Altaf Hussain for using foul language against the state institutions and provoking the people against the state of Pakistan.
In this context Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan briefed the participants about the cooperation the government of Pakistan was extending to UK authorities in money-laundering and Dr Imran Farooq murder cases.
He also briefed them about the reference the government had handed over to UK government about the previous objectionable speeches delivered by MQM chief wherein he had given threats to Rangers and officials of other law enforcement agencies who had taken part in the operation against militants at Nine Zero, the MQM headquarters.