Foreign policy to be aligned with national interests: Shehryar Afridi

Interior minister says foreign policy to be aligned with national interests

Our Correspondent November 22, 2018
Shehryar Afridi. PHOTO:FILE

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi said on Thursday the government has centralised the National Action Plan and the National Counter Terror Authority (Nacta) and improved the civil-military coordination.

Addressing a news conference titled: 'National Security, Nation Building and Mass Media', organised by the Pakistan Institute of Conflict and Security Studies, the minister said the government was formulating a foreign policy which would be in line with the national interests.

"To establish peace, we have included national security in the government's 100-day programme," he said, and added, “We have centralised the National Action Plan and Nacta and improved the civil military coordination."

He said that the government is formulating such a foreign policy which would be in accordance with the national interest. He added that through the madrassa reforms, the government is bringing the seminaries and their students into the national mainstream.

Govt unlikely to relax policy on INGOs

The minister lamented the policies of past governments, saying that the country’s borders with Iran and Afghanistan were left unmanned while international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) were given a free hand.

He said the former governments did not devise any policy regarding registration of the INGOs.

"It is time we raised the slogan of Pakistan first," the state minister said.

"Now we will have to work for the national interests,” he added, calling for changing the traditional mindset of appeasing foreigners.
He stresses the need for collective efforts to protect and strengthen the national security.

Afridi said collective efforts are needed for protecting and strengthening national security.

“Enough is enough. We must put our house in order by engaging all stakeholders and making the vested interests, who inflicted innumerable damages to the country's repute, accountable,” he said.

The state minister urged the media to avoid flashing news, which could damage national interest and create chaos in the country. “US media avoids highlighting Chicago despite the highest crime rate in the world. Likewise, minorities are in pathetic condition in India but the Indian media is silent on it.”

No room for non-state actors on our soil: Afridi

He called on the media to launch a campaign against those who looted billion of rupees. "Why the media avoided launching a campaign against plunderers of billions of rupees in the name of national security,” the minister said.

“The government has firm resolve to promote and strengthen civil-military coordination and introduce reforms in seminaries, as four million students are studying in 32,000 religious seminaries,” he said, stressing the need for bringing the religious seminaries to the mainstream to build a national narrative.

The state minister said the National Action Plan was not implemented in letter and spirit which resulted in disorder in the country.

“The government will stand with law-enforcement agencies (LAEs). The intelligence agencies and the civil and security institutions would work in cohesion.”

Speaking on the occasion, PICSS chairman Maj-Gen Saad Khatak said that Pakistan had successfully dealt with terrorists but the war was not over. He stressed that nation-building would not be possible without national security and vibrant media.


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