ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC) met on Wednesday at the Prime Minister’s House to discuss ‘audio leaks’.
The intelligence chiefs briefed the NSC on the probe being conducted into the audio leaks and highlighted the vulnerabilities.
Also, on Wednesday, a corps commanders meeting was held at the GHQ in which the security situation was discussed.
Besides, the federal cabinet also met with PM welcoming Ishaq Dar as Federal Finance Minister. Another highlight of the day was a meeting the PM and President Alvi.
The NSC meeting, which was held at the PM House, was attended by the services chiefs and key ministers. The chiefs of intelligence agencies briefed the forum about the undergoing investigations into the ‘audio leak’ besides highlighting vulnerabilities at the PM House and other important installations. The NSC was also informed of the emergent steps being taken to overcome in future the cybersecurity related vulnerabilities of the PM House and other critical offices and installations.
The NSC meeting directed the Ministry of Law and Justice to draft a legal framework related to cybersecurity. The meeting also approved the establishment of high-powered committee to conduct a probe into the ‘audio leaks’. This committee would be headed by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah. The meeting also agreed to ensure security, safety of government telecommunication systems in light of technological and cyber threats.
It also reviewed the rescue, relief efforts and the massive damages caused by biblical floods while offering Fateha for the lives lost since mid-June. The meeting praised the armed forces for their role in rescue and relief efforts. It also paid homage to the martyrs who lost their lives in army helicopter crashes. The NSC resolved that the relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims across the country will remain the top priority and the momentum of the present efforts will continue till the eventual rehabilitation of each and every flood victim. The Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood briefed the meeting on the SCO summit held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and the UNGA where the PM met several heads of states and governments.
Earlier, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday said the resurgence of terrorism would not be tolerated. The COAS expressed this resolve, while chairing the 251st Corps Commanders’ Conference at GHQ, according to a handout issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing. According to the statement, the meeting was briefed on the external and internal security situation with a particular focus on the flood situation and ongoing relief efforts being undertaken by the army formations across the country. “The formations must leave no stone unturned to take action against terrorists in coordination with all LEAs (law enforcing agencies),” the COAS directed the troops. Expressing satisfaction over the operational preparedness of the army, the COAS tasked all the formations to maintain strict vigil to guard against any threat.
Moreover, the forum expressed solidarity with the flood victims that were braving great difficulties and also reiterated its resolve to extend maximum assistance for their relief and rehabilitation. The COAS directed the army to focus on relief, rehab, reconstruction and help restore normalcy in the flood-devastated area. General Bajwa commended the formations for reaching out to people in distress and helping them to mitigate their sufferings. The army chief praised the military doctors and paramedics for their indefatigable emergency medical care services to flood victims, particularly children and women and for efforts to check the spread of diseases in inundated areas.
General Bajwa also appreciated army engineers/FWO for restoring the accessibility of critical routes and communication infrastructure on an emergency basis. The conference undertook a comprehensive review of the security environment with special focus on situation along the borders, internal security and other professional matters of the army.
In another development, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called on President Dr Arif Alvi here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr and discussed the overall situation in the country. “The overall situation of the country was discussed during the meeting,” the media wing of the President House said in a statement.
The meeting took place after the prime minister witnessed the oath-taking ceremony as President Alvi administered oath of office to Senator Ishaq Dar as federal minister. The federal cabinet on Wednesday approved the import of 300,000 metric tons of urea for the Rabi season.
The cabinet gave the approval to import urea on the recommendations of the Ministry of Industrial Production. The Trading Corporation of Pakistan has been tasked to import the commodity under Government-to-Government mode.
The federal cabinet met here on Wednesday with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair. Senator Ishaq Dar attended the meeting, a few hours after taking oath as Finance Minister. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed Ishaq Dar calling him an experienced politician and successful finance minister, and prayed for his success.
Similarly, he also appreciated the performance of ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail who, he said, saved Pakistan from default despite the poor performance and lack of commitment by the previous government.
He said the previous government reduced the oil prices when the prices were on record surge, which did not only swell the foreign debt but was also in violation of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
The cabinet meeting on recommendation of the Board of Investment also approved a comprehensive strategy with regard to implementation of Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and Treaties with Investment Provisions (TIPs). On the occasion, the prime minister observed that a comprehensive, solid and consistent strategy with regard to treaties with other countries would be of utmost importance in promoting the country. He directed implementation of strategy regarding treaties on priority basis.
The cabinet also approved constitution of a steering committee, comprising all the relevant federal ministries, provincial governments, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir under the Living Indus Initiative. It emphasised on including the initiative in the curriculum of schools and colleges to create awareness at the grassroot level.
Under the Living Indus Initiative, the proposed measures will ensure construction of infrastructure and adaptation for future protection of natural resources and economic activities associated with the River Indus and its tributaries from climate change.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appreciated the BISP for distributing fifty billion rupees amongst two million flood affected families. He also directed the Sindh government and other concerned agencies to evolve a comprehensive strategy and to take practical steps for dewatering of inundated districts of the province. In this regard, the cabinet was informed about provision of additional water pumps by France. Upon that, the prime minister and the cabinet thanked the people and government of France as well the French ambassador in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appreciated his cabinet members and senior government officers over the success of his visits to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand as well as the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The prime minister, in his opening remarks, apprised the cabinet members about his participation in the SCO Summit and bilateral engagements on the sidelines with the leaders of member states, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Central Asian leaders.
He said during the discussions, connectivity with the Central Asia through gas and rail were discussed and a task force had also been formed to move things ahead. Moreover, he said the flood situation was widely discussed during the summit and was also highlighted by the leaders.
The prime minister particularly thanked Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, State Minister Hina Rabbani and Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman for their efforts and homework. He also spoke high for the role of Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb over effective media coverage highlighting Pakistan’s perspective.
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