ISLAMABAD - Defence Secretary Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Athar Ali informed the Inquiry Commission that the strategic assets of the country were fully protected and an elaborate defence mechanism was in place. Giving statement to the Inquiry Commission on Abbottabad Operation here on Saturday, Syed Athar Ali explained the salient features of the Defence Policy of Pakistan. He stated that Defence Policy of the country was approved by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, which was headed under the chair of the Prime Minister. The 4th meeting of the Inquiry Commission on Abbottabad Operation was held in the Committee Room of the Cabinet Division under the Chairmanship of Justice Javed Iqbal, former senior judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and the President of the Commission. The meeting was attended by Abbas Khan, IG (Retd), Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and Lt Gen (Retd) Nadeem Ahmed, members of the commission. Admitting that clandestine operation by US commandos in Abbottabad had left very deep imprint on entire Pakistani nation in general and the Armed Forces in particular, the defence secretary said that now Pakistan Armed Forces were better prepared to respond to any such recurrence, as adequate safeguards had been taken. Defence Forces have instituted certain measures to preclude possibility of such a recurrence in future accordingly, he added. He explained that Defence Policy directed Joint Staff Headquarters (JSHQ) to formulate the Joint Strategic Directive. The Joint Strategic Directive (JSD) was issued in 2007 following extensively debated within the Armed Forces at JSHQ and acts as a main document for the Armed Forces for everything including their composition, structuring, development plans, training, methodology, employment strategy, etc. The JSD in turn issues specific instructions to the Armed Forces to prepare for countering the identified threat. He also apprised the Commission that none of the government departments, neither ministry of defence nor even Joint Staff Headquarters or any military service had ever considered USA or Afghanistan as a direct threat. The secretary also explained that unlike an undefended civilian compound, the strategic assets were well protected and an elaborate defensive mechanism was in place. This press release is being issued to keep the public abreast about the proceedings of the Commission. Next meeting of the commission will be held soon after Eid holidays.