National Security Committee agrees to recalibrate foreign policy with more focus on region

Islamabad, February 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): The National Security Committee (NSC) Tuesday agreed on the importance of recalibrating the foreign policy framework to bring more focus on countries of the region. The NSC met here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to review the current international and regional situation. It was agreed in the meeting to launch new initiatives to enhance economic partnerships with friendly countries in the region and beyond for a win-win cooperation. “The committee agreed that Pakistan will continue its fight against terrorism and extremism in the interest of its people. Our policies will continue to be formulated and implemented in light of our national interests,” PM Office Media Wing said in a press statement.

The meeting was attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three services chiefs. The committee was briefed on the current international and regional situation particularly on relations with the regional countries. The committee also reiterated the significance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the benefits it brought to the development of Pakistan, the region and beyond.

The participants agreed on further strengthening the CPEC cooperation as the flagship programme of One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. It reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding interest in lasting peace in Afghanistan. It stressed the importance of peace among the Afghan people through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national peace and reconciliation process. The committee underscored the need for consistent and continued engagement with Afghanistan. The importance of effective border management as well as time bound repatriation of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan in a dignified manner was also emphasized.

It condemned the unprovoked Indian ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and Working Boundary. More than 400 ceasefire violations in 2018 alone had resulted in the Shahadat of and injuries to scores of innocent civilians. The committee observed that through consistent ceasefire violations, the Indian government was trying to divert the international attention from blatant human rights violations in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India must give priority to peace. Foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif also briefed the committee on his recent successful visit to Russia and recalled the desire of the two countries to further strengthen bilateral relations in all areas.

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