LS polls figure in Pak NSC meet

Snehesh Alex Philip
Islamabad: Pakistan’s ties with India and the ongoing Lok Sabha polls figured Thursday during a meeting of the country’s top body of civilian and military leadership held to review the internal and external security situation.
This was the third meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to bring the civilian authority and the military on the same table with regard to security.
Prior to this official set-up, security decisions were taken by the military alone.
“The Pakistan–India relations with special reference to the forthcoming Indian elections were also discussed,” a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Lok Sabha polls are being held in India from April 7 to May 12. Counting of votes will take place on May 16.
The committee discussed a number of issues related to internal and external security with long-term implications for the country.
Sharif, who chaired the meeting, said the NSC is an apex forum where every state institution gets an opportunity to provide inputs so that all national security related decisions are taken through collective thinking, the statement said.
The committee reaffirmed the government’s resolve to improve relations with the neighbouring countries, making Pakistan an anchor of peace and stability in the region.
The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Defence, Finance, Interior and Information, the Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and other senior civil and military officials.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan briefed the participants on internal security situation.
Various aspects of the internal security were discussed threadbare, including peace talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, situation in Balochistan and on the western border.—PTI