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ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf, Thursday, rejected the perception that Afghan Taliban are not recognising the Pakistan-Afghanistan international border, saying “there is tremendous positivity at the policy level” within the Taliban.

The NSA stated this, while answering queries of the members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, after giving a comprehensive briefing on the recently-launched National Security Policy document.

“The issue with regard to the fencing is only at the local level, while there is a tremendous positivity at the policy level,” Yusuf stated, in response to a question by committee chairman Malik Mohammad Ehsanullah Tiwana, who while chairing the session, referred to recent incidents in which some Taliban soldiers were seen dismantling the border-fence after indulging in a war of words with Pakistani security forces in a clear provocation that “Afghanistan will never recognize” the approximately 2,670-kilometre long international border between the two countries also known as Durand Line.

The committee chairman further stated that prior to Taliban coming into power across the border; there was a great optimism in Pakistan that they would not allow the banned Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to use the Afghan soil for terrorism against Pakistan.

To this, the NSA stated that on the behest of the Afghan Taliban, peace talks were held with the TTP and a month-long ceasefire was also agreed. However, after the expiry of the ceasefire agreement, the TTP resumed its militant activities, which indicate that the group is not interested in peace.

Responding to the opposition lawmakers’ reservations for not presenting the National Security Policy document in the parliament to take the house into confidence, Yusuf said that they had approached the speaker National Assembly for the purpose who stated that the parliament already has the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, having representation of all the opposition political parties.

Barbed wire Pak-Afghan border: ‘Complications’ to be resolved thru diplomatic channels: Qureshi

After that, he added that an in-camera briefing of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security was called last month for the purpose. However, the opposition boycotted the session, he added.

He suggested that an in-camera briefing was possible to a representative committee of the parliament with participation of the mandated representatives of all the political parties, which would also provide the parliamentary ownership to the NSP document.

Briefing the committee on the NSP further, he said that recognising the need for flexibility in a global and national security landscape marked by fluidity, the National Security Policy was envisioned for a period of five years.

He said that under the guidance of the National Security Committee (NSC), and in coordination with the Office of the National Security Adviser, the NSD will review and recommend updates to the policy on a yearly basis, when a new government is formed, or in case of a major event that has far reaching implications for Pakistan’s security.

This will ensure that significant developments are accorded necessary attention and policy priorities of any new government are adequately reflected, he added.

He further stated that the NSD will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the NSP. Its effective and efficient implementation will require a well-coordinated whole-of-government approach. In working with all relevant stakeholders to prioritise actions and pursue implementation plans, the NSD will ensure that existing structures for coordination are used optimally and strengthened further.

He said that overall, the NSP is people-centric with economic security as its central pillar. However, he explained that shifting from geo-strategic to geo-economics does not mean that Pakistan would make compromise on its national security.

The committee appreciated the NSP and stressed upon the need to strengthen monitoring system for its proper implementation. The committee directed that the federal government should develop proper liaison with the provincial governments to bring its benefits at grassroots level.

The committee also appreciated the foreign policy of Pakistan, especially organising the 17th extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad, which provided an opportunity to 57 Islamic countries and the rest of the world to know the narrative of Afghan Taliban to run the government affairs and problems being faced by them in this regard.

Consequently, various countries started to provide assistance to Afghanis and urged upon the need to de-freeze the Afghan reserves, so that they could resolve their issues amicably, the committee further observed.

The meeting was attended by Mohammad Ameer Sultan, Munaza Hassan, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Jamshed Thomas, Mohammad Khan Daha, Zahra Wadood Fatemi, Maiza Hameed, Abdul Shakoor, and Zain Hussain Qureshi through a video link.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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