'Threat letter': Pakistan to issue 'strong demarche' to foreign country, NSC decides

NSC expresses grave concern at communication, terms the language used by the foreign official as undiplomatic

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
Web Desk

    Prine Minister Imran Khan chairs the 37th meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) at the PM Office in Islamabad, on March 31, 2022. — PMO
    Prine Minister Imran Khan chairs the 37th meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) at the PM Office in Islamabad, on March 31, 2022. — PMO

    • PM Imran Khan chairs 37th meeting of National Security Committee.
    • NSC expresses grave concern about language used in "threat letter".
    • Pakistan to issue strong demarche to the country in question.

    ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC) Thursday decided Pakistan would issue a strong demarche to the country whose official communicated the "threat".

    "The Committee decided that Pakistan will issue a strong demarche to the country in question both in Islamabad and in the country’s capital through proper channel in keeping with diplomatic norms," a statement issued from the PM Office said.

    The 37th meeting of NSC took place at the PM Office with PM Imran Khan in the chair, where National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf briefed the committee on the formal communication of a senior official of a foreign country to Pakistan’s ambassador in the said country in a formal meeting.

    The Pakistani ambassador "duly conveyed" the message of the foreign official to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the statement said.

    Federal ministers of defence, energy, information and broadcasting, interior, finance, human rights, planning, development and special initiatives, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Services Chiefs, NSA, and senior officers attended the meeting, the statement read.

    The NSC expressed grave concern at the communication, terming the language used by the foreign official as undiplomatic.

    The committee concluded that the communication amounted to blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan by the country in question, which was unacceptable under any circumstances.

    The participants also endorsed the federal cabinet’s decision in the special cabinet meeting held a day earlier, under the prime minister’s chairmanship to take the parliament into confidence through an in-camera briefing of the National Security Committee of the Parliament.

    Read more: 'Threat letter' — a diplomat's view

    In his March 27 address to a PTI rally, the prime minister had revealed that "foreign elements" are involved in the attempts to topple his government and said, "some of our own people" are being used for this.

    'Threat letter' controversy

    A day earlier, the premier had shared the "threat letter" he talked of with cabinet members in an emergency meeting. The meeting was not attended by PTI's two major allies — MQM-P and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

    Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also invited a group of journalists to meet PM Imran Khan where selected details of the letter were shared with them.

    The premier had said that a Pakistani envoy posted in a foreign country wrote the memo that he flashed on March 27 at a PTI rally and termed it "threatening", sources told Geo News.

    The premier, while interacting with journalists, said the envoy had sent the letter to Pakistan after he met an official of a foreign country, according to sources.

    Read more: US government denies involvement in no-trust motion against PM

    PM Imran Khan said the memo was shared with the military leadership and mentioned that the tone used in the cable was "threatening.”

    The prime minister said the memo would be shared with parliamentarians during an in-camera session, but noted that the name of the country that "threatened" Pakistan could not be shared — as national security laws are applicable.

    Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser took to his Twitter handle and said that if the Parliamentary leaders from the government and Opposition sides agree, the issue of the “sensitive letter” can be discussed at an in-camera meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.

    Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, who attended the briefing, according to sources, told the journalists that the memo mentions that if the no-confidence motion passes, everything will be forgiven for Pakistan.

    Read more: PTI's lawmakers drilled holes in government's boat, says Farogh Naseem

    Umar further said that the letter mentions that "in case of its failure, the problems for Pakistan will increase."