Civil, military leaders pledge to address all security difficulties


ISLAMABAD: The country’s civil and military leadership on Thursday vowed to satisfy all external and internal security challenges vigorously by eliminating re-emerging terrorists and extremist groups through coordinated efforts of all relevant authorities.

They also reviewed and revised the National Action Plan (NAP) launched in January 2015 to clamp down on terrorism and supplement the anti-terrorist offensive within the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

A meeting of the NAP’s Apex Committee, which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by Chief of the military Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, reviewed various steps that are put in situ to make sure foolproof security of foreigners, especially Chinese nationals performing on CPEC and non-CPEC projects within the country.

In order to make sure a timely, correct, and smooth flow of data about internal security issues, the meeting decided to line up a National Crisis Information Management Cell with ministries of interior and knowledge as dead bodies.

“The main focus of the meeting was to eliminate new and old terrorists and extremist groups who try to move again against the backdrop of recent developments in Afghanistan,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn after the meeting.

According to him, the prime minister and therefore the army chief asked all chief ministers, chief secretaries, inspectors general of police, and heads of all provincial counter-terrorism departments to make sure paces in their respective jurisdictions and to not allow any extremist and terrorist organization to re-emerge for anti-state activities.

“In fact, after recent developments in Afghanistan and Taliban takeover of the country, some [extremist and terrorist]groups have misunderstood that they will re-emerge for his or her nefarious designs,” Mr. Chaudhry said, adding that the meeting pledged to crush these groups with an iron hand.

Responding to an issue, he said the role of India within the current situation in Afghanistan and terrorist activities in Pakistan was also discussed intimately.

A source aware of the meeting said the NAP committee vowed that nobody would be allowed to require up arms and no violence from any group would be tolerated. He said the meeting also discussed recent incidents of terrorism within the country and directed the relevant authorities to curb such incidents in the future with an iron hand.

The meeting, the source said, also reviewed the results of NAP and set new targets to make sure peace and safety of individuals within the country.

According to the Prime Minister Office, the meeting was also attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, minister of finance Shaukat Tarin, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Information Fawad Chaudhry, National Security Adviser Moeed Yousuf, the chief ministers, AJK prime minister, federal secretaries, chief secretaries, IGs and senior civil and military officials.

“The meeting reviewed the progress made thus far on various components of the National Action Plan. The meeting took under consideration the newest developments, especially things in neighboring Afghanistan and its possible implications for the country,” said a politician handout.

The committee, it said, reviewed short-, medium- and long-term targets of the revised NAP and deliberated upon the role and responsibilities of all stakeholders, including federation, provinces, and law-enforcement agencies. it had been decided that tangible key performance indicators would be set for every target with delineated timelines.

It was decided to fast-track implementation of varied measures to satisfy emergent security challenges, including cyber security and espionage, judicial and civil reforms, capacity building of law-enforcement agencies, counter-extremism, and other issues having direct pertaining to national security.

The meeting also reviewed the interior situation, especially some recent incidents involving law and order. it had been resolved that each one measure would be taken to make sure internal security and miscreants would be addressed the full force of the law.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Khan said the state had paid an enormous price in fighting the menace of terrorism. He paid glowing tributes to the soldiers, police, intelligence agencies, and other law-enforcement agencies for his or her invaluable contributions and sacrifices towards ensuring internal security.

The prime minister stressed the necessity for enhanced coordination and effective measures to realize various short-, medium- and long-term targets set under the revised NAP.

Earlier, presiding over a gathering of the National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction, and Development, Prime Minister Khan urged the provinces to require full advantage of digitalized cadastral mapping to see land grabbing and illegal constructions.

He said vertical construction activity was one among the priorities of the govt that might save land, besides providing affordable housing facilities to people.

The prime minister was apprised that the Ministry of Housing was constructing 86,323 housing units with an estimated cost of Rs463 billion. It also provided over 200,000 jobs and generated over Rs2.314 trillion in economic activities.

PM Khan directed the authorities concerned to finish digitalised cadastral mapping of Lahore city as early as possible. On this, he was informed that the project would be completed by November 15 this year.

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