ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) Thursday agreed on its reconstitution into a Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) which will focus on policies affecting the country’s national security.
The CCNS will be chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and would include, PM Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Defence, Interior and Finance, the Chairman JCSC and Chiefs of Staff of Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force. “The Committee will focus on the national security agenda with the aim to formulate a national security policy that will become the guiding framework for its subsidiary policies-defence policy, foreign policy, internal security policy, and other policies affecting national security,” a statement issued from the PM House said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who chaired the meeting of the DCC in his opening remarks said Pakistan was facing formidable challenges domestically while far-reaching developments were taking place in the region.
He said the DCC provided the platform to deliberate on these issues and craft an appropriate response.
According to reports, the committee decided that dialogue with militants would only be held if the disarmed otherwise force would be used.
The DCC received a briefing on the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and took note of continued violations of the ceasefire. Pakistan’s policy of restraint and responsibility was highlighted. The Committee condemned in the strongest terms the unprovoked firing in the Shaqma sector which has resulted in the martyrdom of Army Captain Sarfraz and offered fateha.
It was strongly emphasized that the ceasefire should be maintained in letter and spirit. All military and diplomatic channels should be used to prevent ceasefire violations.
It was also emphasized that Pakistan will also continue to seek dialogue and resolution of all outstanding issues with India peacefully.
During the first DCC meeting since the new government took office in June 2013, presentations were made by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Foreign Secretary and Director General(MO).
The agenda included matters relating to national security.
In the context of regional peace and stability, the DCC deliberated in detail on the evolving situation in Afghanistan. It was emphasized that a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s vital interest and would contribute positively to peace and security as well as progress and prosperity in the region.
Pakistan will fully support international community’s efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Pakistan will also work to comprehensively upgrade its bilateral relations with Afghanistan in all dimensions, the statement said.
The meeting was attended by Ministers for Finance, Information and Interior, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff.