Pakistan does not pursue aggressive designs against any nation: PM NawazPakistan
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired two meetings of top civil and military leadership on the National Action Plan (NAP) and national security on Tuesday, with a special focus on the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and held Kashmir.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing a National Security Committee meeting focusing on the internal and external security of the country said, "Pakistan does not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in peace and collective betterment."
"However, our quest for peace must not be mistaken as a sign of weakness. Our armed forces are fully capable of thwarting any kind of threat to our sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
The meeting reviewed the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and the operational preparedness of the armed forces, a PM Office statement said.
"Pakistan cannot be cowed down with hollow rhetoric and aggressive posturing," the meeting resolved, adding that the nation stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its armed forces to ensure defence of the country at any cost.
Participants of the meeting noted that escalation of tensions along the LoC and the eastern border will shift Pakistan's focus away from its counter-terrorism efforts at a critical juncture and would be detrimental to gains made in the war against terror on home soil.
The forum said that India should resolve the Kashmir issue for enduring regional peace instead of making 'futile efforts' to divert the world's attention through 'propaganda' and 'false claims' of surgical strikes, the statement said.
The meeting's participants called on India to halt atrocities in India-held Kashmir (IHK).
PM Nawaz said that the people of IHK are struggling for their inalienable right to self-determination guaranteed by United Nations Security Council resolutions, which cannot be suppressed through brutal oppression by Indian security forces.
"It is imperative that the UN and other countries fulfil their longstanding commitment to the innocent and defenceless people of Indian Occupied Kashmir," the prime minister said.
"Pakistan and Kashmir are inseparable. We will continue to extend our moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people at every forum," the premier reiterated.
National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Lt Gen Nasser Janjua briefed participants of a meeting on the implementation status of NAP earlier in the day in which each item of the anti-terrorism plan was discussed separately, a statement released after the meeting said.
It was agreed that there is a need to further improve collection, collation, analysis and use of intelligence input to defeat 'enemy designs'.
Participants of the meeting agreed that collective efforts at the national level and specific efforts at a provincial level were required to consolidate the gains made so far in NAP and move further in areas where progress had been unsatisfactory. The NSA stressed the crucial role of provincial governments in the implementation of NAP.
The meeting also agreed on a future course of action in terms of milestones and timelines for different components of NAP.
The secretary to the prime minister made a presentation on certain aspects of reform in the criminal justice system during the meeting. Proposals for reform in laws dealing with investigation, prosecution and judicial apparatus dealing with terrorism cases were presented to participants to evolve consensus on a future course of action.
Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed there had been a significant improvement in security in Pakistan. "We are fighting a war on terrorism and our fight against violent extremism as a national policy imperative," he said.
"The nation expects us to rid the society of these evils for all times and we will not fail them under any circumstances," the premier said.
Today's meetings come a day after political leaders during an 'All Parties Conference' resolved to raise the Kashmir issue at various international fora and said they stood united against Indian 'aggression' and violation of human rights in India-held Kashmir (IHK).
Tensions have simmered between Pakistan and India since an Indian crackdown on dissent in IHK following the killing by Indian forces of Burhan Wani, a separatist leader, in July.
Pakistan has strongly condemned Indian atrocities against the people of IHK. The use of pellet guns by Indian troops in the region have blinded over 700 Kashmiris, while more than 100 people have been killed.
Those attending today's meetings included all provincial chief ministers, along with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, Lt Gen (r) Nasser Janjua, Director General Inter Services Intelligence Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, Direction General Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan, Director General Military Operations Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Director General of Military Intelligence Maj Gen Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General Counter Terrorism Maj Gen Tariq Qaddus.