ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Thursday decided to respond ‘decisively’ and ‘comprehensively’ to any aggression or misadventure by India and in this connection Prime Minister Imran Khan has empowered armed forces to act accordingly.

The decision came following the civil and military leadership huddle held under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan where the hostile and provocative position taken by New Delhi following Pulwama incident and other issues concerning the internal and external security came under threadbare discussion.

Meeting of National Security Committee, an apex forum of civil and military leaders, further discussed and decided to accelerate operation against the militancy and extremist elements in society and in this connection directed the Interior Ministry and security institutions to gear up their operations against such elements.

It was further decided to impose ban on Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its welfare wing Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation, and Interior Ministry was directed to take necessary steps in this connection. Both these organisations were already on the watch-list of Interior Ministry and in recent past some of their accounts offices were seized by the government.

Responding swiftly to the decision of National Security Committee the officials at Interior Ministry through a notification clamped both Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Faleh-i-Insaniyat Foundation.

 Pulwama attack

Participants of National Security Committee discussed geo-strategic and national security environment and situation arising after the Pulwama incident.

The forum noted that the state of Pakistan is not involved in any way, means or form in the said incident. The incident was conceived, planned and executed indigenously.

“In this regard, Pakistan has sincerely offered investigation of the incident as well as the offer of dialogue on the issue of terrorism among other disputed issues. We expect India to positively respond to the offers,” the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office read.

“Based on the investigation or any tangible evidence provided, State of Pakistan shall take action against anyone found using our soil,” it added.

“However, India also needed deep introspection to realise that why people of IOK had lost fear of death. The violence by Indian forces in IOK is highly counterproductive.

“The global community needs to play its part in resolving the long-pending Kashmir issue in accordance with UN resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiris,” it added.

The Prime Minister said: “This is a new Pakistan and we are determined to demonstrate to our people that the state is capable of protecting them and believes that monopoly of use of force stays with state. This will not come with commitment alone.”

 Crackdown on militants and extremists

Terming militancy and extremism the top-most enemies of the country Prime Minister Imran Khan said that they would not let these elements prevail and hurt the interests of the state of Pakistan.

“We recognise that terrorism and extremism are the top issues in the region and the whole region including Pakistan have suffered. Pakistan alone has endured over 70,000 casualties in the process besides heavy loss to national exchequer. That is why the National Action Plan conceived and issued in 2014, outlined concrete sequenced measures with consensus of all political parties and institutions of Pakistan,” Prime Minister elaborated.

“Having addressed direct threat to State of Pakistan, we need to move to ensure that militancy and extremism are routed from the society and the State never becomes hostage to extremists,” Prime Minister said and directed both the interior ministry and the security institutions to immediately accelerate actions on ground.

Swiftly moving on the directives of Primer Khan, the Interior Ministry came up with ban on Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its welfare wing Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation. Both these entities had been proscribed by the United Nations Security Council and following the UN decision Pakistan had already put both these entities on watch-list and also seized its accounts and offices across the country.

The steps taken by the government against these extremist organisations and some other concrete steps to check the money laundering and grey areas of the country’s economy the recently held meeting of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris had expressed satisfaction over the measures taken by the Pakistan Government and chances of Islamabad coming out of the grey list of FATF have brightened.