The government will continue its dialogue process with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) despite the terror outfit not extending its ceasefire on Wednesday. Official sources confirmed that talks would be pursued.
Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had said on Sunday that the next phase of the talks would be held soon with the TTP shura. The dialogue with the TTP and other security issues were discussed at a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Thursday. The government showed keenness to continue with the process at any pace and has in the past denied that they were deadlocked.
An official statement said the third meeting of the NSC was chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by the Ministers of Defence, Finance, Interior and Information, the Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and other senior civil and military officials. The Committee discussed a number of issues related to internal and external security with long term implications for the country.
The Prime Minister said that the National Security Committee is an apex forum where every state institution gets an opportunity to provide inputs so that all national security related decisions are taken through collective thinking. The trust shown by the international community, especially the IFIs in the Government’s efforts to kickstart the economy required an enabling security environment to achieve sustainable economic growth in the coming years, he said.
The Committee was briefed on the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, specially the Pakistan — China economic corridor and $35 billion worth early harvest projects in energy, road infrastructure and railways. The Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar briefed the Committee on the improving economic indicators and Pakistan's re-entry into the international bond market through the successful launch of $2 billion euro bonds, the statement said.
The Committee reaffirmed the Government's resolve to improve relations with the neighbouring countries, making Pakistan an anchor of peace and stability in the region. Pakistan-Afghanistan relations were discussed in light of the recently held presidential elections in Afghanistan. Pakistan-India relations with special reference to the forthcoming Indian elections were also discussed.
The Interior Minister briefed the meeting on the security situation and various aspects were discussed including talks with TTP, the situation in Balochistan and the situation on western border. The Committee endorsed the vision to put Pakistan on the crossroads of opportunity rather than conflict to spur growth for prosperity of the people, the statement added.