Nawaz chairs NSC, calls collective thinking on all security decisions

*Top civil, military officials discuss parliamentary election in India, democratic change in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD – The third meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) was held under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House in which senior civil and military officials also participated.

The committee discussed a number of issues related to internal and external security with long term implications for the country. Prime Minister Nawaz called the National Security Committee an apex forum where every state institution gets an opportunity to provide inputs so that all security-related decisions are taken through collective thinking.

The committee agreed that the national security was of paramount importance for consolidating the economic gains that the government had achieved through sound macroeconomic policies and hard work of the economic team. The trust shown by the international community, especially the international financial institutions in the government’s efforts to kick start the economy, required an enabling security environment to achieve sustainable economic growth in coming years.

The committee was briefed on the prime minister’s recent visit to China, especially Pakistan–China economic corridor and $35 billion worth of early harvest projects in energy, road infrastructure and railways. Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar briefed the committee on improving economic indicators and Pakistan’s re-entry into the international bond market through successful launch of $2 billion Euro Bond.

The committee reaffirmed the government’s resolve to improve relations with the neighbouring countries, making Pakistan an anchor of peace and stability in the region. The Pakistan-Afghanistan relations were discussed in light of the recently-held presidential elections in Afghanistan. The committee congratulated the Afghan people on ‘successful’ elections and resolved to strengthen democratic institutions in Afghanistan. The Pakistan–India relations with special reference to the Indian elections were also discussed.

Minister for Interior Affairs Ch Nisar Ali Khan briefed the participants on internal security situation. Various aspects of the internal security were discussed threadbare including talks with Taliban, situation in Balochistan and situation on western border. The committee reiterated the government’s resolve to improve the internal security situation. It was resolved that all policy options will be explored and all available resources will be utilised to ensure peace and security.

Besides Ishaq Dar and Chaudhry Nisar Ali, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Minister for Information & Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Joint Chief of Staff Committee Chairman General Rashid Mahmood, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Asif Sandeela, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafiq, directors general of Inter-Services Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau also attended the meeting.

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