Afghan soil still being used against Pakistan, Moeed Yusuf tells NA body

Published January 27, 2022
This file photo shows National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf. — AFP/File
This file photo shows National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf. — AFP/File

National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf said on Thursday that Afghan soil was still being used against Pakistan, adding that organised terrorist networks were operating in the neighbouring country.

Yusuf expressed the views while briefing the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on the internal and external security situation.

In a tweet, he said it was a "pleasure" to brief the NA body.

"Had a very productive discussion on the National Security Policy (NSP) and Afghanistan. I am grateful for the appreciation we received for our work from members of the committee," he added.

During the briefing, Yusuf said that the government was "not completely optimistic" about the arrival of the Taliban government in the war-torn country.

He also informed lawmakers that the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had unilaterally broken the month-long ceasefire agreement with the government. "Those who declare war on the country will be dealt with an iron fist," he said.

The NSA also briefed the committee about the recently approved NSP. He said that former adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, had started working on the policy in 2014.

He said that it took seven years to prepare the policy, and it was later also presented before the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. "It will not be implemented until approval from parliament," he said.

He went on to say that the policy concerned the economic security of the country and the common man. He added that the Kashmir issue was also part of the NSP, adding that food security, hybrid war, education and organised crime had also been included.

However, Yusuf said governance had not been included in the policy for now. "The policy has been drafted for the next five years. Some measures are long-term and some are short-term," he said.

NSA says statements being 'mischaracterised'

Later in the day, in a message on Twitter, Yusuf said his remarks to the committee were being "mischaracterised" by media and that some quotes being attributed to him were "incorrect". He, however, did not point out which of his statements he was referring to.

Committee Chairman Malik Muhammad Ehsanullah Tiwana also tweeted the same, adding that the briefing highlighted the positivity in terms of the engagement between Pakistan and the interim Afghan government.

Tiwana said "no negative accusations" were reflected in the briefing given to the committee. "The need to help Afghan brothers and sisters was stressed repeatedly," he said.

"We also received a detailed briefing on the NSP. It was explained that governance is very much part of the policy and that implementation was now being followed up. Committee members appreciated the openness to continue taking members of parliament into confidence on NSP," he added.

Meanwhile, an official handout released by the committee said that the body "highly appreciated" the NSP and stressed the need to strengthen the monitoring system for its proper implementation.

The committee directed that the federal government may develop proper liaison with the provincial governments to bring its benefits at a grass-root level, the statement said.

The committee also appreciated the foreign policy of Pakistan, especially the organising of the 17th extra-ordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers last month in Islamabad.

"Consequently, different countries started to provide assistance to Afghans and urged the need to de-freeze Afghan reserves so that they could resolve their issues amicably," the statement said.

Referring to Yusuf as the special assistant to the prime minister on national security, the handout said that he apprised the committee that the NSP had been formulated in consultation with all stakeholders.

"The representative of foreign affairs also briefly apprised the committee about the outcome of the OIC meeting of foreign ministers held in Islamabad and its worldwide impact," the statement said.

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