Intelligence agencies working to defeat enemy designs: PM

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Top civil-military huddle reviews NAP implementation; Khursheed Shah wants
military leadership to attend briefing

Zahid Chaudhary/
Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad–A high-level security meeting presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz on Wednesday decided to further intensify the operation against terrorists and their facilitators across the country especially Balochistan in the wake of deadly attack there which killed about seventy two people and injured 114.
According to sources, the civilian and military leadership expressed the resolve that the gains achieved as a result of Zarb-e-Azb operation will not be allowed to go waste rather these further will be consolidated in order to rid the country of terrorism once and for all.
“Thousands of our people and security personnel have rendered their lives in the on going war on terror and the blood spilled by them for the future of the country will not go in vain,” said the participants of the meeting which was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, DG ISI Lieutenant-General Rizwan Akhtar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
It was decided that coordination amongst the intelligence agencies will be enhanced in order to trace out the elements working at the behest of country’s enemies. Sources said the attack in Quetta is yet another manifestation that India wants to create hurdles in the execution of the multi-billion dollar CPEC. Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership has shown firm determination to foil the sordid designs of RAW. The meeting was apprised about what has been achieved and what is yet to be achieved under the National Action Plan. It was decided that the federal government will provide all resources to the provincial governments to implement NAP, sources said.
To enhance coordination with the provinces to pre-empt and counter terror attacks, the intelligence agencies were also asked to better enhance their communication with the provincial governments.
Participants of the meeting expressed their consensus over implementing all 20 points of the NAP.
In his remarks, according to sources, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reaffirmed the resolve to take the war on terror to logical conclusion. He said the government, armed forces and national security agencies are on the same page to counter the threat of terror.
Addressing National Assembly Wednesday the Prime Minister said Pakistan’s intelligence agencies are working day and night to defeat designs of the country’s enemies.
He said Pakistan’s military and political leadership are on the same page to eradicate the menace of terrorism.
Nawaz said: “This incident was pre-planned,” adding “we will put to rest all these challenges.”
He said, “Quetta terrorist attack has saddened the entire nation. This is the same mindset that does not want peace in Pakistan. This is the same mindset which martyred Benazir Bhutto. This is the same mindset which targeted APS,” he said.
Prime Minister said that the enemies could not digest the possibility of progress in Pakistan, particularly of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said that operation Zarb-e-Azb would be completed at all cost.
Nawaz Sharif said that it is their mission is to make Pakistan a secure homeland and also vowed to eliminate terrorism completely from the country. He said that Pakistan has raised voice against the Indian atrocities against innocent people in the occupied Kashmir at the international fora and through an awareness campaign.
Shortly after the prime minister’s address, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan took to the floor to enlighten the house on some key issues discussed in high-level huddles after the Quetta attack. Nisar said while most political parties were against the introduction of harsh laws, stricter laws were needed to rein in those “who do not follow any religion or law”.
Without naming anyone, the interior minister also voiced his displeasure over Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai’s address in the house a day before, in which he demanded that the prime minister sack officers from the security and intelligence agencies if they fail to trace out elements involved in the deadly Quetta attack.
“Is it not my duty as a Pakistani to stand with our armed forces?” questioned Nisar, adding that giving such a statements at a critical juncture was “unacceptable”. “Instead of criticizing Pakistani security agencies, RAW and NDS should be condemned,” he said.
Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition in NA Syed Khursheed Shah demanded of the government to sum-mon the military leadership to the Parliament and brief the house regarding the current security situation of the country.
Shah also asked for the heads of intelligence and security agencies to be present for the briefing. “The government should summon heads of the all security and intelligence agencies in the Parliament, asking them to brief the session about the steps taken by them to provide security to the people of Pakistan,” Shah said while speaking during the National Assembly session.
The remarks by the opposition leader come two days after the carnage in Quetta, which mauled the provincial capital’s judicial community. During the session the opposition leader suggested to establish a parliamentary national security committee in order to monitor the implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) and the progress in Operation Zarb-i-Azb.
“A parliamentary committee must be formed to review the steps taken by the government and the security agencies for implementing National Action Plan,” Shah said.

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