The National Security Committee (NSC) said on Friday that “terrorists are the enemies of Pakistan” as it vowed to respond “with full force” to those who challenge the country.
The remarks were part of a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) after the NSC moot — the principal decision-making forum on foreign policy and national security — concluded in Islamabad with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair as the country has seen a spate of terrorist attacks.
Senior civilian and military leaders were part of the meeting.
During the meeting, the heads of intelligence institutions gave a detailed briefing to the participants on the law and order situation in the country, the recent wave of terrorism, and steps to tackle it.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also briefed officials on Pakistan’s economic challenges and the government’s strategies to counter them, the PMO statement said.
“Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar briefed the meeting on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s relationship with the interim government in Kabul.”
The statement reads that participants of the meeting expressed an “unequivocal opinion” that Pakistan’s national interests would not be compromised and no one would be allowed to harm the country’s national security.
“The basic interests of Pakistan’s survival, security, and development will be protected with great courage, consistency, and steadfastness.”
The participants also paid tribute to the sacrifices of the martyrs against terrorism, expressed sympathy and condolence to their families, and collectively prayed for the elevation of the ranks of the martyrs.
“The meeting expressed determination that terrorists are enemies of Pakistan. The entire nation is united on one narrative against terrorism and terrorists. Those who challenge Pakistan will get a full-force response,” the statement asserted.
It added that the NSC meeting will continue on Monday, January 2, in which further decisions will be taken in light of the proposals.
The decision to convene the meeting of the NSC was taken in a meeting between PM Shehbaz and Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir on Thursday, according to a Dawn report.
The meeting between the two took place a day after the corps commanders’ conference at the General Headquarters where the surge in terrorism incidents dominated the agenda.
Over the past few months, the law and order situation in the country has worsened, with terrorist groups like the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Islamic State group, and Gul Bahadur Group executing attacks with near impunity across the country.
Insurgents in Balochistan have also stepped up their violent activities and formalised a nexus with the TTP.
The incident at the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police’s Counter-Terrorism Department interrogation centre in Bannu and the botched suicide bombing attempt in Islamabad not only set off alarm bells in the power corridors but also left several countries worried about the security of their nationals.
The US, UK, Australia and Saudi Arabia have issued advisories, asking their nationals to restrict movements in Pakistan and avoid non-essential trips.