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NSC discussed internal security, Afghanistan situation: Rashid

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RAWALPINDI:

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting of the National Security Committee on Friday, to discuss internal security issues and situation in Afghanistan, said Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid.

The meeting was attended by the army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the heads of the Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Air Force. The chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was also in attendance, the minister told reporters after the meeting.

He said the high-level huddle also discussed the situation along the country’s borders as it deliberated on the internal security situation in detail.

In an earlier media talk, Rashid said that the government was willing to talk to the opposition on the extension granted to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairperson, Justice (r) Javed Iqbal. Rashid said the government was ready to talk on all issues pertaining to the NAB chief’s extension approved earlier this week.

The remarks by the federal minister came days after President Arif Alvi promulgated the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) to grant an extension to the incumbent NAB chief until it can find a successor to replace him.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) appears divided on consultations with the opposition leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, over the appointment of a new chairperson.

Three days ago, it was reported that after a debate, Prime Minister Imran Khan had agreed with the attorney general of Pakistan that the NA opposition leader should be consulted over the issue.

However, a day later, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry ruled out the possibility of consulting Shehbaz Sharif regarding the appointment.

Read Pakistan mulls options to keep Afghan banks afloat

“The opposition has to change its leader, if they want a consultation with the government on the appointment of the NAB’s chairman,” he said in a news conference.

Flanked by Minister of Law and Justice Dr Farogh Naseem, Fawad said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would not speak to Shehbaz Sharif at any cost.

Criticising military

During today’s presser, Rashid slammed the opposition leaders over their criticism of the security institutions. He said those who were grilling the institutions would “fall flat on their faces”.

The interior minister said that criticising the state institutions is the “political death of these people”, adding that the opposition has done no work on the ground.

He claimed that the opposition will fail again as there was only a year left in the general elections. “Under the leadership of Imran Khan, we will fight the elections enthusiastically and bring change,” he added.

According to the minister, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will split into three factions in the run-up to the elections.

He said the next 120 days would be “important” in Pakistani politics, adding that after Oct 22, the local politics will become “very happening”. He further added that Pakistan was going through a “sensitive period”.

“Our politicians are looking towards the West, while [global] politics is moving towards the East,” the minister said, adding that this was a time for “serious politics” as Pakistan will bear the brunt if anything happened in Afghanistan.

The minister said there were some issues on the Chaman border crossing with Afghanistan that will be fixed soon.




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