Sharif appreciates new Pakistan security policy

Islamabad, Feb 26: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday voiced his appreciation for the country’s new security policy after it was unveiled by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the National Assembly.

Speaking after the presentation of the policy, Sharif said democracy was the only panacea to problems facing the nation and urged the country to stand united for a secure and bright future, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The prime minister invited proposals and a discussion in the house on the policy to further fine tune it.

He stated that there was no confusion in the government policy against extremism and if anybody thinks it needed more clarity, suggestions and recommendations would be welcomed.

He said the process has been clear and transparent and the media and the nation were occasionally briefed about the progress on the dialogue between the committees.

“We have been making the dimension of dialogue clear. We had briefed the parliamentary leaders and if there would be a need, we shall again do it,” he said.

“We are ready for heart-to-heart discussions, seek opinions and bring about improvement,” he said in regard to new security policy and appreciated Chaudhry Nisar and his team for preparing it.

He said the policy was not a final document and could be improved further in the light of the recommendations of the house.

“It is a state policy. It is not the policy of the government or any specific political party and everybody should contribute to it,” he added.

Earlier Wednesday, unveiling the new security policy, Chaudhry Nisar underlined a major policy shift, saying attacks by militants would be met with an appropriate military response.

Giving details of the policy in the National Assembly, Nisar said that the matter was discussed with all political parties and the decision was agreed upon unanimously, Dawn online reported.

Stating that only the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had assisted the government in the formation of the new policy, he thanked the party for its recommendations. He added that none of the provinces had contributed to policy formation.

Stating that developing a political consensus was imperative to deal with terrorism, the interior minister said that it was not appropriate to score points on the issue when it was not just peace but the state’s existence at stake.

Appealing to the country’s political forces to be wary of developing differences on the issue, Nisar said if the state failed to establish peace, little else would matter.

Saying the issue was complicated and its resolution not easy, Nisar said parliament should have a single opinion on terrorism, according to the Dawn report.

He called upon all political forces to assist the government in dealing with the issue as it had assumed gargantuan proportions.

Stating that the policy would be improved step by step, the minister said its implementation and effectiveness would be reviewed during the next six months.

He added that the 100-page policy document comprised three parts, one of which was secret.

IANS