Imran vows to respond decisively to ‘any misadventure by India’
A meeting of the national security committee chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed the situation following the Pulwama militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to a statement released by the prime minister’s office, the geo-strategic and national security environment in particular came under discussion in light of the Pulwama incident and its aftermath.
Among key outcomes of the meeting was an order to accelerate anti-terrorism operations in the country to re-establish the state’s writ, and the reinstatement of a ban on the Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its charity arm, the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).
The two Hafiz Saeed-linked organisations had slipped off the national list of proscribed organisations after a presidential ordinance banning them under UN resolutions lapsed without further action.
In February last year, former president Mamnoon Hussain had promulgated an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, to include entities listed by the UN Security Council, in a move to declare JuD and FIF as proscribed groups.
Under the Constitution, an ordinance can be re-promulgated once, as it says that: “either House may by a resolution extend it for a further period of 120 days and it shall stand repealed at the expiration of the extended period, or if before the expiration of that period a resolution disapproving it is passed by a House, upon the passing of that resolution”.
The two linked organisations had meanwhile been under watch by the Ministry of Interior under Section 11-D-(1), read with Schedule-II of the Anti Terrorism Act.
The members of the meeting noted and established that “the state of Pakistan is not involved in any way, means or form in the said incident” and that it was “conceived, planned and executed indigenously”.
The statement asserted that Pakistan had made a sincere offer to investigate the incident and stands ready to “enter into dialogue on the issue of terrorism and other disputed matters”.
“We expect India to positively respond to the offers,” it added.
It further stated that Pakistan “shall take action against anyone found using our soil (for terrorism)”.
However, it called on the need for India to undertake “deep introspection” to realise why people of Kashmir “have lost fear of death”.
“The violence by Indian forces in Kashmir is highly counterproductive. The global community needs to play its part in resolving the long-pending Kashmir issue in accordance with UN resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiris,” the statement stressed, urging action on the part of the international community.
Simultaneously, the NSC also gave formal authorisation to the armed forces “to respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure by India”.
The statement also quoted the prime minister as saying 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”.
“This will not come with commitment alone. We recognise that terrorism and extremism are top issues in the region and the whole region including Pakistan has suffered,” the press release stated.
It went on to highlight that Pakistan has endured casualties surpassing 70,000 in number, besides heavy losses to the national exchequer.
“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,” it further stated.
Moving on to a broader discussion on terrorism, the PM office statement underscored the need “to move to ensure that militancy and extremism are routed from the society and the State never becomes hostage to extremists”.
The prime minister subsequently directed the interior ministry and security institutions to “immediately accelerate actions on ground” to ensure this.
Ahead of the NSC meeting, Prime Minister Khan and army chief general Qamar Javed Bajwa held a one-on-one meeting during which they discussed region’s security situation, Geo TV reported, citing sources.
The meeting was attended by army chief General Bajwa, services chiefs, heads of intelligence agencies, security officials and federal and state ministers for finance, defence, foreign affairs and interior.
The NSC council was also briefed by foreign office officials about the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav being heard at the International Court of Justice.