Long term policy needed to eliminate terrorism: NSC

ISLAMABAD: The command and control system of terrorists has been destroyed and they are fleeing, Pakistan’s military told civilian leadership in a meeting of National Security Council (NSC) on Saturday.
According to a statement issued after the meeting, leaders of all the political parties attended the NSC meeting though it didn’t mention absence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.
The statement noted that Director General Military Operations, Major General Amir Riaz briefed political leaders about the targets achieved in the ongoing army operation in North Waziristan tribal region. He informed them about the areas of NWA which have been cleared so far in the military offensive.
The DGMO said that a constitutional shelter has been provided to avoid the backlash of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He said that the entire nation had rejected terrorism and agenda of terrorists, adding that funding of terror outfits had also been stopped by the efforts of the armed forces.
Amir Riaz said that appropriate resources were being provided to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan and they would not be left alone.
He also mentioned how the military was avoiding collateral damage during strikes in NWA.
During the meeting all the participants agreed on elimination of terrorism and said a long term policy was needed to end the menace.

Army Chief Responds to Questions

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif responded to questions by politicians during the NSC meeting. General Sharif said the army required a few more days in North Waziristan. He added that resistance was being faced in Shawal and some Taliban had fled to Afghanistan.

The army chief told those in attendance that several Taliban had been arrested and IDPs who had left for Afghanistan had now returned.

PPP leader Raza Rabbni said article 245 should not have been imposed to which General Sharif replied that this question had been answered by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar. Addressing reservations of Siraj-ul-Haq and Maulana Fazlur Rehman regarding the arrest of workers, General Sharif said he should be provided names and those innocent would be released.

Afrasiyab Khattak and Ghullam Ahmed Billour stressed that relations with Afghanistan should approve and General Sharif said he would advise Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to send a delegation to Kabul.

PM Addresses Conference

While addressing the National Security Conference here, Nawaz Sharif said that the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Chief Siraj-ul-Haq conveyed him that Imran Khan was willing to wind up his long march if recounting of votes on 10 seats was agreed upon. He said let Imran Khan come and sit for talks as he was prepared to listen to him without any reservations.

PM Nawaz said it was the beauty of democracy that differences were resolved through dialogue and invited Imran Khan to discuss his demands with the government.

Nawaz Sharif without naming Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Tahirul Qadri warned that violence in the name of revolution would not be accepted at all.

It is important to mention that none of the PTI members attended the conference on national security called by the Prime Minister.

PM hoped that opposition will also play a positive part, adding that the PML-N accepted the mandate of all political parties. He said the political issues should be resolved through consultations and collective wisdom.

Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan’s relations with its neighbouring countries except China were not good and added his government hoped to establish cordial relations with the upcoming government in Afghanistan.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb was in progress as per plan and no complaints had been heard from any quarter whatsoever, it was also told in the conference.

Political Reaction

Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Sherpao said there was consensus among the attendees of the conference that democracy should not be derailed.

MQM leader Farooq Sattar said the military leadership during the conference clearly conveyed that policy and strategic matters should be overseen by politicians.

JI chief Siraj-ul-Haq said it was recommended that the operation be completed as soon as possible and the internally displaced persons should be allowed to return home.