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NSC backs efforts to solve economic problems

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May 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC) of the federal cabinet had its exceptionally significant meeting here Wednesday at the Prime Minister Office (PMO) in the backdrop of volatile situation of the region since fear of showdown between Iran and the United States, with its heavy military presence in the area getting imminent.

The forum fully supported the on-going efforts for sustainable and lasting solution of the economic problems, confronting Pakistan. The stalemate in Afghan peace efforts and continuation of right-wing extremist Hindu BJP rule in India with more offensive agenda and belligerent posture have added the importance of the huddle.

The release issued on the conclusion of the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan maintained that “The forum discussed geo-strategic environment with special reference to recent developments in the region. The forum reiterated that Pakistan shall continue all its efforts towards regional peace and stability.”

The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Law Minister Barrister Muhammad Farogh Naseem, Minister for Kashmir Affairs & GB Ali Amin Gandapur, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, CJCSC General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman, DG ISI Lt Gen Syed Asim Munir Ahmed Shah, DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, DG MO Maj Gen Nauman Zikria and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, federal secretaries of Interior, Law, Kashmir Affairs & GB and National Security Division.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was conspicuous with his absence since he is out of the country. Holding of the meeting in his absence depicts the urgency of the subjects came under consideration in the meeting, the sources said.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh briefed the huddle about the economic situation of the country and government’s efforts for brining sustainable and enduring economic stability in the country.

Federal Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood for the first time attended the meeting. Well-placed sources told The News that Sohail Mahmood who returned from New Delhi after relinquishing his charge as High Commissioner to India briefed the meeting about the possible outcome of Indian polls and its impact on the Indian policies towards Pakistan.

The sources said that the committee advised to government to maintain its vigilance about the happenings in the region and it was advised that Pakistan should stay away from any conflict with putting up efforts to stall any mishap and clash. Pakistan would continue to work for the peace and stability in the region.

In a separate session the forum discussed Gilgit-Baltistan reform. The prime minister directed that the aspirations of people of Gilgit-Baltistan especially the youth must be given pre-eminence during the decision making process. Interestingly the law-enforcing agencies recently busted a gang and foiled well planned conspiracy to ruin the peace and security in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The meeting that discussed internal and external security situation took stock of the efforts to eliminate terrorism from the face of the country fully. The recent incidents of terror were also discussed by the NSC while interior Minister Ijaz Shah briefed the meeting about it.

The sources said that the NSC reviewed the progress of the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism and extremism while discussing internal security situation. The participants discussed recent measures to further tighten noose around the proscribed organisation and expressed satisfaction about the efforts to implement NAP in totality. The current situation in Afghanistan particularly the ongoing effort seeking a political solution was also on the agenda. Other issues include the current state of Pakistan-India ties and rising tensions in the Persian Gulf region were also part of the discussions.

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