–NSC reviews regional, national security as participants discuss geo-strategic, national security environment amid arising situation
–Armed forces given free hand to respond to Indian aggression
–Civil, military leadership reiterate Islamabad’s stance of having nothing to do with Pulwama attack
–Security huddle urges global community to play its part in resolving long-pending Kashmir dispute
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday decided to ban Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).
According to the spokesman of the interior ministry, the decision to ban these groups was taken during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan at his office.
“It was decided during the meeting to accelerate action against proscribed organisations,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “It was further decided that Jamat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation be notified as proscribed organisations by the interior ministry,” he added.
Meanwhile, Jamat-ud-Dawa spokesman Yahya Mujahid, in a statement, condemned the ban and announced to challenge it in the court.
ARMED FORCES GIVEN FREE HAND TO RESPOND TO INDIAN AGGRESSION:
During the meeting, PM Imran formally authorised the armed forces “to respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure by India” which may follow New Delhi’s behaviour in the wake of Pulwama attack.
The premier said that it is a “new Pakistan”, the leadership of which is determined to demonstrate its capability to protect the nation and believes that the monopoly of violence stays with the state.
The government had on Monday recalled its high commissioner from New Delhi for “consultations” while India has already called back its envoy following the Pulwama attack that left at least 49 Indian paramilitary troops dead in one of the worst attacks in over three decades in occupied Kashmir, a week ago.
The responsibility of the deadly attack was claimed by the banned militant outfit, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). India, however, took no time in pointing a finger at Pakistan.
With tension soaring on either side of the border since the attack, the high-level security huddle on Thursday reviewed the regional and national security as the participants discussed geo-strategic and national security environment.
The civil and military leadership of the country resolved that Pakistan was not in any way, means or forms, involved in the Pulwama attack and the incident was conceived, planned and executed indigenously.
“In this regard, Pakistan has sincerely offered an investigation of the incident as well as the offer of dialogue on the issue of terrorism among other disputed issues. We expect India to positively respond to the offers,” said an official handout issued following the NSC meeting.
“Based on the investigation or any tangible evidence provided, Pakistan will take action against anyone found using our soil. However, India also needs deep introspection to realise that why people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) no longer fear death. The violence by Indian forces in IOK is highly counterproductive,” it said further.
The NSC noted that the global community needs to play its part in resolving the long-pending Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations (UN) resolutions and aspirations of the people of the occupied valley.
“We recognise that terrorism and extremism are the top issues of the region and all of us have suffered. Pakistan alone has endured over 70,000 casualties in the process besides heavy losses to the national exchequer,” PM Imran said while addressing the meeting.
This, he added, was why the National Action Plan (NAP) was conceived and issued in 2014 after outlining concrete sequenced measures with the consensus of all political parties and state institutions of Pakistan.
Having addressed the direct threat to the state, the premier highlighted the need to ensure that militancy and extremism were rooted out from the society and the state never became a hostage to extremists. He also directed both the Interior Ministry and security institutions to immediately accelerate actions on the ground.
On Tuesday, PM Imran had sought to knock some sense into the frenzied Indian government, urging it to share “actionable evidence” regarding the Pulwama attack, instead of levelling baseless accusations against Pakistan.
In a recorded address, he had offered full cooperation, saying: “If you have any actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved, give it to us. I guarantee you that we will take action ─ not because we are under pressure, but because they [culprits] are acting as enemies of Pakistan.”
The premier had added that it is not in Pakistan’s interests to plant terrorists elsewhere or to have terrorist activity conducted on its soil. “Pakistan is moving towards stability and desires it. We have fought terrorism for 15 years, and 70,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives in [the war on terror].”
The prime minister said there’s a new mindset in “Naya Pakistan” and the incumbent government believes that “it is in [Pakistan’s] interest that our soil is not used for carrying out terrorist attacks in other countries, nor do we want outsiders to come and carry out terror attacks here. We desire stability”.
Addressing India’s government and media caught up in a war frenzy, Imran said: “We are hearing voices in India that ‘Pakistan must be taught a lesson’, ‘Revenge must be taken from Pakistan’, ‘There should be a strike’ ─ First of all, what law gives any country to become judge, jury, and executioner? What sort of justice is this?”
Warning India of a befitting response, he had said, “We all know that starting a war is easy. Starting it is in people’s hands, but ending it is not in our hands. Where it will go, God knows best. That’s why I hope that better sense will prevail.”