Civil, military leaders express ‘serious concern’ over Sialkot lynching

Meeting with PM Imran Khan in the chair reviews national security | Decides to implement a comprehensive strategy to curb such incidents: PMO | Strict punishments to all perpetrators to be ensured

ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday chaired a meeting to review the overall security situation in the country wherein the participants viewed that individuals and mobs could not be allowed to take the law into their hands.

According to a statement issued by Prime Minister’s Office late Monday, “Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Jawed Bajwa, National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar and senior military and civil officers attended the meeting.”

The meeting expressed serious concern over the cruel act of the killing of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Diyawadanage in Sialkot and expressed the resolve to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The participants viewed that incidents like the lynching of a Sri Lankan national could not be tolerated. “Therefore, a comprehensive strategy shall be implemented to curb such incidents and strict punishments to all the perpetrators shall be ensured, they resolved,” says the official statement. The meeting also praised the bravery and courage of Malik Adnan who endangered his own life to save Priyantha Diyawadanage. The meeting also conveyed the deepest condolences to the family of late Priyantha Diyawadanage. 

National security policy to be sent to Cabinet for approval: Moeed

National Security Advisor (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf on Monday said that national security policy (NSP) would ensure human and economic security besides peace in the region.

The national security policy has been prepared after consulting a large number of experts hailing from different segment of society and representatives of the provincial governments, he said while talking to a private television channel. 

The policy would be presented before the parliamentary committee so that treasury and opposition benches could listen the briefing properly, he said. 

The National Security policy would be forwarded to Cabinet for necessary approval, he added. Replying to a question about aims of the national security policy, he said it will ensure human and economic security as well as peace at home and abroad. 

To another question about foreign policy, he said we are working on road connectivity so that Middle East, Central Asian States and other countries could promote business activity with Pakistan.

The top military leadership yesterday skipped the National Security Committee meeting as Prime Minister Imran Khan also stayed away from the session.

The Parliamentary Committee on National Security met under the Chairmanship of Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser in Parliament House, for a briefing on the upcoming National Security Policy of the Government. 

The National Security Adviser (NSA) to the Prime Minister Dr. Moeed Yusuf presented details of the policy to the Committee. 

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt. General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum met PM Khan earlier in the day but all the top three did not attend the NSC meeting. The opposition had already boycotted the meeting.

A participant of the meeting told The Nation that the military leadership did not attend the meeting as it was meant for the parliamentarians. 

“The PM and the army chief are in the same page. They give importance to the NSC. The army chief has been a regular participant of the NSC meetings,” he added.

Another participant said the next meeting would be well attended as the opposition will hopefully end the boycott. At the meeting, BSA Dr. Moeed Yusuf explained that the National Security Policy is designed to leverage the symbiotic relationship between human security, economic security and military security with the prosperity and safety of citizens as its principal focus. He further informed that it endeavors to put economic security at the core of policy priorities to expand the national resource pie for greater investments in human and military security. 

He informed the Committee that the process of consultations with stakeholders for the formulation of the National Security Policy was initiated in year 2014 after the establishment of the National Security Division. In year 2018, a drafting Committee was established which built on earlier work. Several rounds of feedback consultations on multiple drafts were held with all state institutions, including provincial government and the governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. This was followed by consultations with over 600 academics, analysts, civil-society members and students across Pakistan to make the policy process inclusive. 

The National Security Advisor informed that the policy is expected to be a dynamic document which will be reviewed each year and on the transition of government to help keep the National Security Policy abreast with policy priorities in a fast changing global environment.

Concluding his briefing, the NSA said that the upcoming National Security Policy would be the first ever document that outlines the challenges and opportunities facing Pakistan in the coming years, while providing policy guidelines for mitigation and actualizing opportunities through a whole-of-government approach. 

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser said that the formulation of a comprehensive National Security Policy by incumbent government reflected its priority for realizing the dream of a secure and prosperous country. 

He also appreciated the fact that taking public representatives on board on national policies is vital for strengthening of democratic institutions in the country. He said that the upcoming Policy would be a document that envisages challenges and prospects, the country has in the coming years. 

The participants of the meeting endorsed the National Security Division’s efforts in this regard and expressed their optimism that the policy would lead to an even more secure and prosperous Pakistan as the country was presently facing external as well as internal challenges.

The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers, Leader of the House Senate, Members of the National Assembly & Senate, Senior Officers of the National Security, Defence, Foreign Affairs and Interior Divisions.

Later, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari commented on the lynching incident involving a Sri Lankan man in Sialkot and said the government would have to analyse why the National Action Plan had not been implemented in letter and spirit.

Speaking to journalists following the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Mazari said that Islam is a religion of peace and patience, adding that the lynching of the Sri Lankan manager in Sialkot was a “day of shame for the entire nation.”

The minister went on to say that the time has come for the “state to take action against such unacceptable incidents.”

To a question related to Defence Minister Pervez Khattak’s statement about the incident, Mazari said that Khattak has “issued a clarification about his statement,” and urged the Opposition to distance itself from the statement issued by the JUI-F chief Fazalur Rehman relating to the Sialkot tragedy. 

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