Meeting on national security: Nisar says army chief to be invited

Meeting on national security: Nisar says army chief to be invited
Meeting on national security: Nisar says army chief to be invited

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday that Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani would be invited to the proposed meeting of the heads of all political parties in parliament to formulate a comprehensive national security policy.

Talking to medial personnel in his office, the minister said although no date had yet been finalised, he had started contacting political leaders.The Prime Minister’s Office said on Wednesday that the meeting would be held on July 12, but Chaudhry Nisar said the date would be finalised after consultations with political leaders.

He said participants of the meeting would include the four chief ministers and heads of all law-enforcement agencies.The first session would include briefing by security and intelligence officials over security situation in different parts of the country. It would be followed by a one-hour question session for politicians.The minister said recommendations of political leaders would be used in formulating the policy. “It is a complicated task and can take some time. After finalisation the draft policy will be presented in the parliament for approval.”

Talking about outlines of the proposed policy, the minister said it would contain two parts — operational and strategic.The operational part will define how the intelligence system should work to have prior information of the possibility of a terror activity.He said it was necessary to assess intelligence failures and security leaks and to improve coordination among various arms of intelligence agencies. “At present we are doing only reactionary work and need to learn from mistakes.”

The minister said there would be a special rapid force which would act promptly in case of an attack. It would have the ability to reach the spot and engage terrorists before they escape from the scene, he added. Chaudhry Nisar said the strategic side of the policy would determine the direction of action for law-enforcement agencies.In reply to a question regarding investigation against MQM chief Altaf Hussain by British police in the Imran Farooq murder case, the minister said British government had not yet officially sought any input from the Pakistan government.

“The case is being dealt by British authorities and the Pakistan government is being updated by authorities concerned. We are aware of the situation, but I am not in a position to share it with the media because of the sensitivity of the matter,” he added.Regarding initiation of trial of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the constitution, the minister said a special committee had started its work and its report would be produced before the Supreme Court.DRONE ATTACKS: Chaudhry Nisar said the US policy of continuing drone attacks in tribal areas could affect its relations with Pakistan.

Terming the drone attacks counterproductive, he said the US ambassador had been informed about the concerns of the Pakistan government. “The PML-N government is clear over the issue of drone attacks and if the US stubbornness continues, there will be a serious stand-off between the two countries.”He said Pakistan had categorically conveyed to the US government through its ambassador that such a stand-off with Pakistan could have serious implications on the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan as well as the post-withdrawal scenario.

The US must reconsider the ways it had been pursuing over the past seven years, he added.KARACHI AND BALOCHISTAN: In reply to a question regarding law and order in Karachi and Balochistan, the minister said law and order was a provincial subject and the federal government would provide maximum resources to provincial governments for maintaining peace.About the killing of foreign mountaineers in Gilgit-Baltistan, he said security agencies had taken into custody some suspects for questioning. But, he added, the real culprits were still at large. – Dawn