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September 13, 2017

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Most alarming part of Nisar’s interview generally ignored

Most alarming part of Nisar’s interview generally ignored

ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s statement that Pakistan’s national security faces extremely serious threats sounds alarming but it becomes upsetting to know that none of the cabinet members, including even the PM, has any information about these challenges.

In his recent interview with senior anchorperson of Geo News, Salim Safi, the former interior minister said that only four or five persons are in the knowledge of these serious threats that Pakistan is presently facing.

Besides himself, he indicated, these persons include the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the ISI chief General Naveed Mukhtar.What makes his statement alarming is the fact, as narrated by Nisar, that there are intelligence reports available in black and white with the government warning that Pakistan’s security is facing really “serious” threats.

When probed by Safi, the PML-N leader added that the nature of threats is so sensitive that reports could not be be shared beyond the few who already know about it. What is, however, both upsetting and unbelievable is the former interior minister’s claim that he even doubts that the incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi knows about it.

It means that not only the incumbent prime minister but none of his cabinet members including the defence minister, the interior minister and the foreign minister has any knowledge of the serious security challenges threatening Pakistan. It also suggests that the National Security Committee of the Cabinet, which includes key ministers and topmost defence and security officials with the exception of the army chief and the ISI DG also do not know about these serious threats to Pakistan.

It could be a debatable point whether or not the parliament or all the cabinet ministers should be taken into confidence about the nature of serious threats to our national security. But this is really serious if the Chief Executive of the country does not know about this or the matter has been kept secret from the National Security Committee of the Cabinet.

One can only guess about the nature of threats but how the former interior minister discussed the matter, have raised the alarm bells. For the same reason, the issue was Tuesday briefly discussed in the Senate where Senator Aitzaz Ahsan rightly pointed out that the country faces “serious threats” but only four persons knew about it which do not even include the prime minister of Pakistan.

Ahsan demanded of the government to inform the Senate about the nature of these threats. He rightly said that he is alarmed to know that the prime minister of Pakistan even does not know about this.

Ahsan, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the upper house, requested the Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani to ensure that the interior minister Ahsan Iqbal makes a statement on the issue on the floor of the house.

Interestingly the political aspects of Ch Nisar's interview were widely discussed and debated both in the media and among politicians, however, this alarming disclosure of the former interior minister was generally ignored.   

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