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Wednesday Feb 28 2018
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NSC for refocusing Pakistan foreign policy on regional states

ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC) on Tuesday held a meeting, wherein the top civil-military brass reviewed the current regional and international situation, read a press statement issued late Tuesday.

The meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was attended by ministers of foreign affairs, defence, interior, PM's aide on finance, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and chiefs of the three armed forces.

The forum was briefed on the current international and regional situation, particularly on relations with regional countries.

The foreign minister briefed the committee on his recent "successful" visit to Russia and recalled the desire of the two countries to further strengthen bilateral relations in all areas, the statement read.

The meeting agreed on the importance of recalibrating the foreign policy framework to bring more focus on countries of the region. It was agreed to launch new initiatives to enhance economic partnerships with friendly countries in the region and beyond for a win-win cooperation.

The committee reiterated the significance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the benefits it brings for the development of Pakistan, the region and beyond. The participants agreed on further strengthening the CPEC cooperation as a flagship program of China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

Fight against terrorism

The top civil-military leadership agreed that Pakistan will continue its fight against terrorism and extremism in the interest of its people.

"Our policies will continue to be formulated and implemented in light of our national interests," read the statement.

Afghan peace

The forum reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding interest in lasting peace in Afghanistan, stressing the importance of peace among the Afghan people through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national peace and reconciliation process.

The meeting underscored the need for consistent and continued engagement with Afghanistan, and emphasised the importance of effective border management as well as time-bound repatriation of Afghan refugees in a dignified manner.

Indian ceasefire violations

The NSC condemned unprovoked Indian ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary. It observed that Indian forces committed more than 400 ceasefire violations in 2018 alone, which resulted in martyrdom of and injuries to scores of innocent civilians.

The meeting observed that the Indian government, through consistent ceasefire violations, was trying to divert international attention from blatant human rights violations in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Moreover, the NSC demanded that India must give priority to peace.

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