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Khan & COAS discuss regional security, PM directs Army to move rapidly to Indian strike

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan met Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa on Thursday ahead of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting.

During the meeting, the country and region’s security situation were discussed, sources said.

The premier is currently chairing the NSC meeting which is being attended by General Bajwa, services chiefs, heads of intelligence agencies, security officials and federal and state ministers for finance, defence, foreign affairs and interior.

Meanwhile, the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Thursday made a categorical assertion that any aggression from India will be responded befittingly.

During the key meeting attended by top government and security officials, the prime minister authorized armed forces to respond to any aggression from the Indian side, in a befitting manner.

The meeting categorically rejected Indian allegations on Pulwama attack and said that it was planned and executed at local level in India. “Pakistan has no connection with the attack,” the participants asserted.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that this is a new Pakistan and we are determined to demonstrate to our people that the State is capable of protecting them and believes that monopoly of violence stays with State.

Expressing resolve to defend the motherland, he authorized Armed Forces of Pakistan to respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure by India.

Regarding Pakistan’s resolve against terrorism, he said we recognize that terrorism and extremism are the top issues in the region and the whole region including Pakistan have suffered.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan alone has endured over 70,000 casualties in the process besides heavy loss to national exchequer. He said that is why the National Action Plan conceived and issued in 2014, outlined concrete sequenced measures with consensus of all political parties and institutions of Pakistan.

Having addressed direct threat to State of Pakistan, he said we need to move to ensure that militancy and extremism are routed from the society and the State never becomes hostage to extremists. In this regard, Prime Minister directed both the interior ministry and the security institutions to immediately accelerate actions on ground.

Participants discussed geo strategic and national security environment and situation arising after the Pulwama Incident.

The statement issued after the meeting said PM had given the authority to armed forces to protect its soil and respond to any aggression.

The committee said based on the investigation or any tangible evidence provided, State of Pakistan shall take action against anyone found using our soil.

However, India also needs deep introspection to realize that why people of Occupied Kashmir have lost fear of death. The violence by Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir is highly counterproductive, it added.

The Committee urged the global community to play its part in resolving the long pending Kashmir issue in accordance with UN resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiris.

Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, heads of intelligence agencies and other security officials attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor will address an important press conference at 3 pm on Friday (today).

According to the details, DG ISPR to discuss matters of national security in the press conference. Major General Asif Ghafoor likely to respond the Indian threats and take the nation into confidence over the important decisions made in the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting held on Thursday.

It is pertinent to mention here that the NSC meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Thursday made a categorical assertion that any aggression from India will be responded befittingly.

During the key meeting attended by top government and security officials, the prime minister authorized armed forces to respond to any aggression from the Indian side, in a befitting manner.

The meeting categorically rejected Indian allegations on Pulwama attack and said that it was planned and executed at local level in India. “Pakistan has no connection with the attack,” the participants asserted.

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