ISLAMABAD - A high level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday took stock of the overall security situation in the country, particularly in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Balochistan.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, ISI Director General Lt-Gen Zahirul Islam, Chief of General Staff Lt-Gen Ashfaq Nadeem, Secretary to PM Javaid Aslam and Additional Secretary to PM Fawad Hasan Fawad attended the meeting.
Sources privy to the development informed The Nation that the top civil and military leadership expressed total resolve to deter the threats posed to the national security.
Army Chief briefed the meeting about the security situation in Waziristan Agency and Balochistan in the light of his recent visits to those areas. The interior minister briefed the meeting about the status of raising of rapid response forces at the federal and provincial levels.
The meeting discussed the law and order situation in Balochistan and expressed its satisfaction. The army chief as well as ISI DG gave briefings on security in that province. The prime minister appreciated the improved coordination within the law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Balochistan and resultant improvement in law and order situation there.
Sources said that security situation in Fata was discussed at length following the new developments related to reported split in TTP as well as evolving situation in North Waziristan agency. The meeting, according to the sources, decided to keep strict vigilance of the area and support the reconcilable elements in the interest of peace and stability.
But, the meeting resolved to track down those elements opposed to government’s peace overtures. “Enemy of peace will be targeted everywhere by all means including surgical strikes”, a source requesting anonymity said.
The meeting also discussed the developments in North Waziristan where a faction of militants formally revoked the peace accord with the government on Friday and announced to attack government installations as well as the security forces. The group headed by militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur has warned the local tribesmen to leave the area or face repression.
Sources said the meeting decided to protect the civilian population as well as government and security installations at all cost and vowed that no blackmailing tactics would work as the government is committed to eradicate the scourge of terrorism from the country.
Interior Minister Nisar Ali also briefed the meeting about the outcome of government talks held so far with TTP and strategy to make the talks more meaningful and result oriented. The meeting decided that government would encourage all those insurgent elements who wanted unconditional talks for the peace.
The meeting was also informed about the development funds to be allocated for Fata in the forthcoming budget. It also discussed the US draw down of its forces as well as steps being taken to secure this side of Pak-Afghan border.
Nisar informed the meeting of the rapid response force formed by the government at the federal and provincial levels. He said that joint Police and Rangers patrols in the capital city have started yielding positive results in curbing routine crime.
Earlier at the outset of the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif shared details of his visit to India and his meetings with Indian leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and agreement to carry forward bilateral peace talks with India. He informed the meeting about agreed interaction of foreign secretaries of the two countries soon to review the peace talks and draw future roadmap. The prime minister also sought report from the interior minister and ISI DG about security plan for Chinese citizens working in Pakistan.
FULLY PREPARED TO DETER ANY AGGRESSION
INP adds: General Raheel Sharif said that Army is fully prepared to deter and defeat any aggression across the entire spectrum of threat.
Addressing participants of a course at Command and Staff College Quetta on Friday, he said Army has the unique accomplishment of having been employed on various fronts against two different types of threats i.e, conventional and sub conventional, for the last over one decade and is respected for its achievements and sacrifices the world over.
COAS exhorted the need for future leadership to remain abreast with the latest global and regional developments and focus on their professional grooming.
While elaborating on his vision, COAS emphasised that Army should carry its glorious legacy.
An Army which continues to be reflective of Pakistan's aspirations manifesting the collective will and resilience of its proud citizens; a symbol of national unity and cohesion, he added.
Earlier, on arrival at Quetta, COAS was received by Commander Southern Command, Lieutenant General Naseer Khan Janjua