ISLAMABAD - A high-level meeting on the national security yesterday decided that intelligence-based operations would continue with full zeal to counter attempts of hostile foreign intelligence agencies and their collaborators to destabilise Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his remarks, expressed the resolve that the government would collectively defeat all designs of the enemies to make Pakistan a secure and prosperous country.

A statement of ISPR said the meeting was held at the ISI Headquarters in Islamabad, which reviewed entire internal and external threat spectrum, including terrorists’ networks and their linkages. It said the role of hostile intelligence agencies and their collaborators in fomenting instability in Pakistan and undermining its interests was discussed in detail. The “hostile agencies” were, however, not officially identified.

ISPR said the management of Afghan border was also discussed during the meeting. The army chief held terrorists were externally funded and internally facilitated. He underscored the need for continued efforts across the country to consolidate the gains made in Zarb-e-Azb and the ongoing intelligence-based operations to ensure a permanent and sustainable peace in the country.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif highly appreciated the efforts and achievements of the army and intelligence agencies in achieving major breakthrough and bringing a noticeable change in the security environment of the country.

He said the entire nation was truly proud of its premier intelligence agency, its officers and men who had achieved countless successes which truly deserved due recognition and acknowledgement. Nawaz Sharif reiterated the government and the nation stood behind the armed forces and intelligence agencies in the fight.

The meeting was attended among others by Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan and National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (r) Nasir Janjua.

The high-level security huddle follows terrorist attacks on Bacha Khan University and Khyber Agency earlier this month. These attacks which claimed lives of over two dozen people besides inflicting serious on injuries to scores of others were planned in Afghanistan.

The attackers from the defunct TTP have established their safe havens after fleeing into Afghanistan to escape the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb. A man who claimed responsibility for the attack on BKU through a video footage belongs to Dara Adam Khel.

PAK, AFGHAN SPY CHIEFS HOLD TALKS

Afghanistan’s spy chief visited Pakistan Thursday for bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart on building mutual trust for effective intelligence sharing and counterterrorism cooperation. 

Intelligence sources told Voice of America (VOA) that Masoud Andarabi, the head of National Directorate of Security (NDS), met with Lt-General Rizwan Akhtar, the Director General of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The Pakistani side said it presented “evidence” to show fugitive Pakistani militants are using Afghan soil to attack Pakistan. Islamabad alleges the deadly January 20 Bacha Khan University attack in Charsadda was planned and directed from the eastern Afghan border region.

Pakistani officials, citing phone intercepts and interrogation from detained suspected facilitators, said the carnage was masterminded by Khalifa Umer Mansoor, commander of a splinter Pakistani Taliban faction, who is allegedly sheltering on the Afghan side of the border. There was no immediate reaction from Afghan authorities, though Kabul has already denied charges its soil is being used for attacks against Pakistan.

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan and Afghanistan discussed issues relating to border management and agreed to enhance military-to-military coordination. This was transpired during a meeting between the directors general military operations (DGMOs) of the two countries in Rawalpindi on Thursday, said an ISPR press statement.

Afghan delegation’s visit was sequel to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif’s visit of Kabul on December 15, during which regular bilateral interactions of Pakistan and Afghanistan militaries were decided, as part of which bilateral corps commanders meeting was also held at Peshawar last week.

During the Thursday’s meeting, issues relating to bilateral security and border management came under discussion. Both sides reiterated that terrorists operating on either side of border will not be allowed to use their soil for any terrorist activity on either side of the border.

Both sides expressed resolve to continue the interaction for better bilateral military to military coordination.