ISLAMABAD, May 02 (TNS): Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the 21st meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) held at Prime Minister’s House on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by the Minister for Interior Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Mr. Miftah Ismail, Minister for Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Director General ISI Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (R) Nasser Khan Janjua and senior civil and military officials.
At the outset, the Committee condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and observed that the people of Pakistan shared the pain of their Afghan brethren and stood by them in complete solidarity in this hour of grief. The Committee noted that the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Afghanistan was a very important step in strengthening the relations between the two brotherly countries.
The Deputy Chairman Planning Commission briefed the meeting on the water policy approved by the Council of Common Interests on 24th April 2018, along with a water charter, which was signed by the Prime Minister and the four Chief Ministers. The Committee observed that this was a very significant achievement and if properly implemented could prove instrumental in averting the water crisis that was seriously threatening Pakistan. The Committee also directed the Water Resources Division to forcefully pursue the violations of the Indus Water Treaty by India with the World Bank since protracted inaction by the Bank was only facilitating Indian designs.
The Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs briefed the Committee on the economic performance of Pakistan over the last five years and the ‘fast growth strategy’ underlying the budget for FY 2018-19. The Committee was of the view that while the sustained five years’ growth was a matter of much satisfaction, potentially destabilising factors needed to be addressed simultaneously. The Committee also reviewed the status of FATF compliance and expressed its overall satisfaction.
The Secretary Interior gave a presentation to the Committee on the several initiatives towards a more facilitative visa regime being formulated by the Ministry, especially with respect to tourists, students and people traveling to Pakistan for medical care. The Committee appreciated the steps taken so far and directed the Ministry of Interior to finalise and introduce the new policy at the earliest in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Committee reviewed the proposed administrative reforms package for Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and directed that while finalising the recommendations it shall be ensured that the new arrangements are in complete harmony with the aspirations of the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Committee also reviewed the prevailing situation in the Indian Ocean Region and directed to keep a robust security posture for the maintenance of security and safeguarding national interests of Pakistan.