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Nawaz gets ISI 'input' on new security policy

12 July, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday walked up to the headquarters of Pakistan's premier intelligence agency to get their 'input' on new 'national security policy' the PML-N government is in the process of giving final touches to.

An all-parties conference (APC) earlier scheduled for July 12 (today) to work out a national strategy against terrorism was postponed for the time after government decided not to limit the exercise to the political players and include security establishment in the process as well to make it more 'comprehensive and meaningful'.

The prime minister told Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt General Zaheerul Islam that his government will take care of security establishment's 'apprehensions' while formulating the new policy aimed at weeding out the menace of terrorism from the country, a senior official told our sources.

Declaring the ISI a major 'stakeholder' in fight against terrorists, the prime minister told the spymaster to develop an effective mechanism to pre-empt terrorist activities in the country. The prime minister maintained that all national security institutions need to boost mutual coordination and cooperation to prevent terrorist incidents. The prime minister asked the ISI DG to keep his office updated on all developments of national importance. It was also decided during the meeting that the Interior Ministry will act as 'coordinator' among intelligence agencies.

"The meeting remained positive and productive," a senior official told our sources. "The prime minister is chief of the intelligence agency and he has every right to visit its office and ask about its performance, especially when the country is facing a number of internal as well as external challenges," he added.

Sources said a number of issues including terrorist incidents in Quetta, Peshawar and Karachi, leakage of Abbottabad Commission report and withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan also came under discussion in more-than-five-hour-long meeting.

The ISI DG briefed the prime minister on the operational details of the agency. General Islam assured the prime minister that his organisation would leave no stone unturned to curb the menace of terrorism in the country and reiterated his commitment to mobilise all resources in this regard.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, PM's Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Senator Sartaj Aziz, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also accompanied the prime minister.


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