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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) has unanimously expressed the resolve to guard its sovereignty from all internal and external threats and to not allow Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to challenge the writ of the state in any way.

The 35th meeting of the NSC presided over by the prime minister on Friday was attended by relevant Cabinet members, National Security Adviser, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, all three Services Chiefs, DGs of ISI, IB and FIA, and senior civil and military officers.

The NSC received a detailed briefing on the country’s internal security situation and the ongoing agitation by the TLP.

The prime minister stressed that no group or entity will be allowed to cause public disruption or use violence to pressurise the government. Taking serious note of the unprovoked violent attacks committed by TLP members, the committee resolved not to tolerate any further breach of law by this proscribed group.

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The NSC praised the police for their professionalism and restraint despite, being directly targeted and suffering casualties, including four martyrs and over 400 injured, but warned that the state’s restraint should not be seen as a sign of weakness.

While emphasising that the government recognised the right of peaceful protest of all Pakistanis, the committee members were unanimous that the TLP was deliberately employing violence against public property, state officials, and ordinary citizens to create instability in the country and that this shall not be tolerated. All organs of the state stood ready to act as per the law to protect the life and property of citizens, they added.

The prime minister and the NSC members expressed condolences over the loss of life of policemen and committed to compensating and looking after their families.

The prime minister commended the exceptional performance of the law enforcement agencies and assured them that the government will firmly stand behind them as they act to enforce the law and protect the public.

The committee took notice that no previous government or prime minister had taken such an unequivocal, public international stance on the issue of Namoos-e-Risalat and Islamophobia.

Under the current government, Pakistan has successfully brought these issues to the fore of international diplomatic discourse in the United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and European Union, among other fora.

One key objective of establishing the Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Authority is also to intellectually counter international propaganda against Islam and sanctity of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

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The participants decried TLP’s misuse of religion and the issue of Namoos-e-Risalat for political gains, which was misleading the common man and creating internal discord within society. The TLP’s violence had ended up furthering the agenda of sectarian elements and external enemies of the state.

It was pointed out that despite the overwhelming majority of the over 1.5 billion Muslims globally holding utmost love and respect for our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), no such violent agitation had taken place in any other Muslim-majority country.

The participants of the meeting recalled that the TLP had adopted the ploy of violent street agitation on numerous occasions since 2017 and made unrealistic demands each time, solely as a tool to gain political strength.

In the process, TLP’s actions have caused public disorder, serious economic losses to the country, besides boosting the morale of other terrorist outfits seeking to challenge the state’s writ.

The committee unanimously resolved to guard its sovereignty from all internal and external threats and to not allow TLP to challenge the writ of the state in any way. Participants endorsed the government’s decision to negotiate with the group only within the bounds of law, without offering leniency for any crimes committed by TLP operatives.

While endorsing the view of the committee, the prime minister instructed that all measures and actions necessary to enforce the law and protect the interests of the state and public shall be ensured.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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