Strong reply to be delivered to US, says NSC

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ISLAMABAD: The Natio­nal Security Committee (NSC) on Thursday expre­ssed “ grave concern” over US poking in Pakistan’s internal affairs and decided to lodge a strong kick.

The meeting was conve­ned to bandy Prime Mini­ster Imran Khan’s claim that a foreign country, which he latterly in an apparent slip of lingo in his televised speech linked as the US, had transferred a threatening communication through Pakistan’s envoy.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu had reportedly in a meeting with Ambassador Asad Majeed advised that there could be counteraccusations if Prime Minister Khan survived the opposition’s no- confidence stir in the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office spokesperson in a brief statement issued late in the night said that as per the NSC decision, the “ demarches have been made through politic channels”.

The NSC, which is the top civil-military forum, after deliberating on the contents of the US communication conveyed by Pakistan’s minister through a string on March 7, expressed “ grave concern” over it.

The statement by the Prime Minister Office on the meeting didn’t name any country, but after Mr Khan’s gaffe it came egregious that the unnamed state was none other than US.

The NSC members described the language used by the “ foreign functionary” as “ tactless”.

According to the statement, the commission viewed the communication as “ blatant hindrance in the internal affairs of Pakistan” and underlined that similar action was “ inferior under any circumstances”.

There was no direct citation of the opposition’s no- confidence stir in the statement, but a minister, asking not to be named, claimed that the commission’s reference to internal matters was about the proceedings against the high minister initiated by the opposition. He contended that the NSC’s statement was a clear countersign of Mr Khan’s position on the string saga.

The high minister’s critics, still, saw the statement in a different way and claimed that the commission didn’t agree with Mr Khan that the communication was hanging and a evidence of foreign conspiracy.

The NSC decided that a “ strong demarche” would be delivered to “ the country in question”. The kick note will be handed over to US Charge d’ Affaires in Islamabad and State Department in Washington.

The statement noted that the course of action decided by the NSC was in keeping with politic morals.

“ Actors also championed the Cabinet’s decision ( reached) in the Special Cabinet meeting held on 30th March, 2022 under the Prime Minister’s chairmanship to take the congress into confidence through an in-camera briefing of the National Security Committee of the Parliament,” it added.

The opposition transacted the meeting of the administrative commission on the rationale that its leaders hadn’t been timely insinuated about it.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the opposition hadn’t entered any announcement for the public security commission meeting.

“ This meeting shouldn’t have been called. Imran’s attempt to polarise and scandalise the public security forums and institutions is outrageous,” he said.

“ Our information is that one of the ministers got this letter written and posted to him. Also that minister showed this letter to Imran Khan. Imran gestured this letter in a public gathering and now he’s trying to use it in his favour to run down from the indigenous process. Imran is trying to pressurise and make the institutions disputed,” he claimed, adding that Mr Khan’s action not only hurt the foreign policy but also the public interest.

“ This isn’t a game, this isn’t justice. We’ve to suppose about the country and similar jejune acts must end,” he said.

Former chairman Asif Zardari, while responding to a question by a intelligencer at the Parliament House, said there was no need to see the so- called document as it was fake.

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