Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC) has agreed to launch an “all-out comprehensive operation” to eliminate terrorism in the country. The decision was made during the 41st meeting of the NSC, which was presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and attended by senior civil and military leaders. The meeting, which was held at the Prime Minister’s House, lasted for two hours before resuming later in the evening.
The NSC meeting was held in continuation of a previous meeting that took place on January 2, which was called in response to an attack on the Karachi Police Office on February 17. The committee has formed a high-level committee to provide recommendations on the implementation and limitations of the operation within two weeks.
The operation will incorporate measures at the political, diplomatic, security, economic, and social levels to rid the country of terrorism in all its forms. The participants of the meeting emphasized the need for “comprehensive national security,” with the relief of the people being central to the operation.
Earlier in the day, PTI leader Shireen Mazari commented that the NSC meeting would be crucial in shaping the future course of action regarding the country’s security. She expressed concerns that the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s fear of elections might lead to the state turning against the nation. She also stated her hopes that the government would uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.
According to Dawn, the government may ask the top brass for a briefing on potential threats from militants in case elections are held in Punjab on May 14. Last month, the Pakistan Army informed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that its troops would not be available for poll-related duties due to the prevalent security situation within the country and on the borders.
The military authorities gave a detailed briefing to the government that terrorist outfits have regrouped in tribal districts bordering Afghanistan, making electioneering conditions unsuitable. The option of imposing an emergency in the country under Article 232 of the Constitution for a maximum period of one year may also be discussed in the meeting.
The NSC has reiterated its resolve to have “zero tolerance” for terrorism in the country. The operation against terrorism will require the cooperation and involvement of the entire nation and the government, with measures taken at every level to ensure the safety and security of the people. The high-level committee formed will provide recommendations to ensure the operation is implemented effectively and efficiently.