Gains in NAP, Zarb-i-Azb to be consolidated: PM
By Baqir Sajjad Syed & Syed Irfan Raza
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday stressed better coordination between the federal and provincial governmentsforconsolidatingtheachievements made during counterterrorism operations in the country.
`The gains in the National Action Plan and operation Zarb-i-Azb, and progress achieved so far will be consolidated through well-coordinated and concerted efforts at the federal and provincial levels with the backing of the national resolve,` Mr Sharif said while chairing a meeting on internal security and implementation of the National Action Plan.
The meeting held at the prime minister`s official residence was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Nasser Janjua, ISI Director General Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, and Intelligence Bureau DG Af tab Sultan. It was one of the rare meetings on security which was not attended by ArmyChief Gen Raheel Sharif.
The huddle, according to an insider, was preparatory to an upcoming security meeting between the prime minister and the army chief.
Gen Raheel had during his brief one-on-one meeting with PM Sharif on the sidelines of the National Security Committee session on July 22 asked for a meeting for reviewing the security situation in the country.
The meeting is expected to take place in a few days, according to the source.
`Security meetings, which have been a regular feature, have not been held for sometime because of PM Sharif`s health reasons. The military now wants the mechanism to be revived,` a government official said.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sharif said the federal government would support provincial governments` actions against terrorism through improved coordination and intelligence sharing.
`We will make Pakistan secure for every ethnicity and religion; the country has embarked upon a right track and we will enable every citizen to reap the benefits of a secure, stable and prosperous Pakistan, he vowed, noting that extremist ideology was a global threat.
Meeting with president Af ter a gap of over three months,Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday and discussed with him several issues, including the security situation in the country, economy, terrorism, operation Zarb-iAzb and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
According to a spokesman for the president, the two leaders expressed the hope that the nation would defeat all evil forces coming in the path of country`s progress.
`They resolved that determination of the nation will deter and defeat all evil forces and the country will be put on the path to progress,` he said without mentioning what `evil forces` the two leaders referred to.
President Mamnoon and PM Sharif last met on April 22 shortly before the latter`s departure to London for heart surgery.
The president congratulated the prime minister on regaining good health and expressed his optimism that Mr Sharif would continue to serve people with full vigour.
The prime minister briefed the president on policies made and decisions taken by the government on various issues. The two leaders reviewed the ongoing development and energy projects, the security situation, Zarb-i-Azb, state of national economy and the CPEC project.
They agreed that completion of the CPEC would usher in an era of progress and prosperity for the country, besides generating business and employment opportunities for the benefit of people.
They expressed satisfaction over the progress of Zarb-iAzb and reiterated that the operation would continue till its logical conclusion. They praised the sacrifices rendered by the armed forces and law enforcement personnel in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
The two leaders resolved that the government would continue to pursue its agenda of economic development for overall national progress and urged all to cooperate with the government in completion of all development projects.
They also reviewed the regional situation and reiterated Pakistan`s desire to have friendly relations with all neighboring countries for peace and prosperity in the region.
There was no mention in the of ficial handout if the president and the prime minister had discussed the Kashmir issue and latest atrocities of Indian armed forces against innocent Kashmiri people.