Civil-military huddle: PM forms task force to monitor NAP progress

PM Nawaz chairs a high-level meeting in Islamabad. PHOTO: INP

PM Nawaz chairs a high-level meeting in Islamabad. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to form a high-powered task force to monitor progress on National Action Plan  (NAP) against terrorism.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the country’s top civil and military leaders that continued for a second day on Thursday.

The participants arrived at a consensus that there was immediate need to inject fresh impetus into what is generally being seen as a faltering counterterrorism plan. Monday’s deadly attacks in Quetta added urgency to the decision. The task force will comprise senior representatives of all departments and agencies concerned at the federal and provincial levels.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting with his key security and foreign policy aides, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz, Tariq Fatemi, National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry.

Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, ISI Director General Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar and DG IB Aftab Sultan, among others, represented the military side.

“The prime minister directed that no effort should be spared to ensure complete and effective implementation of the plan,” said an official handout issued after the meeting.

He stressed the need to take “result-oriented” and “time-bound” actions, with a view to completely eliminate and eradicate the menace of terrorism from the soil of Pakistan.

The meeting reaffirmed the national resolve to eliminate terrorism and extremism from everywhere in Pakistan. “Restoration of complete peace and tranquillity shall remain the top priority of the government and all the state institutions.” It was stressed that intelligence agencies perform a vital role in guaranteeing national security and safeguarding national interests for which they will be provided all necessary resources and support.

The meeting took a “strategic review of the regional and internal security situation” and in that context also focused on “the latest trends of activities of hostile intelligence agencies” to destabilise Pakistan.

The participants agreed to “scale up” the existing efforts to “neutralise” hostile elements through a “coordinated and focused” effort.

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