Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz-government has decided to convene a meeting of leaders of major political parties to formulate a comprehensive National Security Policy.
Speaking to a select group of journalists on Thursday, he said the purpose of the meeting, possibly on July 12, was to bring nationwide peace and overcome the threat of terrorism by forming the new policy.
He added the government will also invite Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, heads of all law enforcement agencies, and chief ministers of all provinces, including Gilgit-Baltistan.
“We are determined to bring peace at all cost with the support of all stakeholders.”
Elaborating on the National Security Policy, Interior Minister Nisar said the government will focus on two kinds of the policy, that is, an operational policy and a strategic security policy.
The operational policy will focus on normal terrorist activities while strategic policy aims how to deal with militants at massive scale with broad perspective, he explained.
“We should be two steps ahead of terrorists to counter them,” Nisar said.
Replying to a question, Nisar observed that General Kayani had depoliticised the military which is a good omen for democracy. “Civil-military imbalance has been ended now.”
On potential peace talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the overall law and order situation in the country, the interior minister said the PML-N government is planning to hold an important meeting which will be attended by the heads of major political parties as well as military security agencies to discuss the TTP dialogue and the law and order issue in detail.
Three task forces have also been formed with specific mandates. One will be responsible for the missing persons’ issue. The second will look at ways for Dr Afia Siddiqi’s return, who has been sentenced to over 80 years in jail by a New York court for shooting at US soldiers while in custody in Afghanistan. The third task force will focus on counter terrorism.
Pakistan cautions US over drones
Pakistan cautioned the United States on Thursday that the continuation of the controversial CIA-led drone strikes could lead to a direct standoff between the two nations.
“I told Mr. Ambassador [Richard Olson] in a meeting that there is going to be a serious standoff between the US and Pakistan on the issue of drone strikes. Drones are doing more harm than good. If the US policy on drones continues we will not accept it any cost,” Interior Minister Nisar said.
“This standoff could also have serious implications on the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in 2014 and the post-withdrawal scenario.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2013.