Use of chemical, biological weapons by non-state actors cannot be ruled out: NSP draft

Published: February 25, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing the cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing the cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: The draft of the proposed National Security Policy, a copy of which was acquired by Express News on Tuesday, warned of possible chemical or biological weapons use by non-state actors.

According to Express News, the draft reveals how Pakistan has suffered losses worth $78 billion over the past decade due to various acts of terror. The draft further stated that the Ministry of Defence has the infrastructure in place to deal with non-state armed groups and terrorists.

The draft recommended that existing laws be reviewed in light of existing security threats.

Furthermore, the 33 intelligence agencies will work under the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) directorate. NACTA will also have the authority to contact international agencies in its aim to counter threats to national security.

The draft stated that religious seminaries will be brought under the national fold in terms of curriculum and operation. It was also proposed that counter-terrorism departments will be established in every province.

The draft also mentioned that measures will be taken to prevent the wrong use of social media.

The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved the Internal Security Policy and will announce its details tomorrow, Express News reported.

Members of the cabinet have decided that if the Taliban want to continue talks, they should announce and implement an unconditional ceasefire.

The cabinet meeting was headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar will disclose more details about the policy, in the National Assembly, on February 25.

It was decided in the meeting that surgical strikes will be carried out in response to all terrorist attacks, not just those which target the security forces, Express News correspondent Aamir Ilyas Rana reported.

The prime minister asserted that the government had taken up negotiations with the Taliban in all sincerity and in good faith. We had made special arrangements for their assigned committee to visit Waziristan for counselling. But, inresponse, they attacked our armed forces and innocent Pakistani civilians. They have made negotiations a fruitless exercise in futility.

Nawaz Sharif said Taliban should not take the government’s desire for peace as its weakness, adding that the writ of the government shall be implemented at all cost.

Two cabinet members – Jamiatul Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F)’s Akram Durrani and Abdul Ghaoor Haideri did not come to attend the meeting.

It was also agreed in the meeting that the government will take care that the women and children stay safe in the operations.

Prime Minister Nawaz stated during the meeting that special care will be given to internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are negatively impacted by the aerial strikes.

Information minister

The Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, in an interview to Radio Pakistan on Tuesday, said that the prime minister still prefers to bring peace to the country through dialogue with Taliban to avoid further bloodshed.

He further said the government will make a formal announcement if it decides to launch a military operation in North Waziristan, and in such a situation all appropriate measures will be taken to protect the local population as was previously done during the Swat operation.

He welcomed the PTI Chief Imran Khan’s statement about supporting a targeted military operation against groups who resort to violence and attack the security forces.

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