Cross-border attacks: PM Sharif chairs NSC meeting

Nawaz SharifIslamabad, Oct 10 : The National Security Committee met in Islamabad today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed the situation arising from what it called ' unprovoked firing by the Indian security forces across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary'.

The Committee noted 'with deep concern that the continuing ceasefire violations by Indian forces had led to loss of precious lives and injuries to innocent people, including the fearless soldiers'.

Sadly, the unprovoked violations of ceasefire by the Indian security forces occurred in total disregard of the auspicious and festive occasion of Eid Ul Azha, the Committee noted in its meeting which was also attended by Ministers for Interior and Information, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Chiefs of Army, Naval and Air Staff and other senior civil and military officials.

The Committee offered condolences to the bereaved families of the 13 civilians and sympathies with the injured people. It commended the jawans, who bravely and duly responded to the aggression.

The Committee expressed its full confidence in the capability of the Armed Forces to defend the country against any aggression and safeguard the territorial integrity of Pakistan.

The Committee claimed that the Government of Pakistan has pursued a policy of peaceful relations with all its neighbors.

"Initiation of peace dialogue of the 1990s, and more recently, participation of the Prime Minister in Prime Minister Modi 's oath-taking ceremony are a manifestation of Pakistan's sincere desire to constructively engage New Delhi to establish durable peace in the region," it said.

The Committee expressed its disappointment that the sincerity demonstrated by Pakistan has not been reciprocated.

Abrupt cancellation of the Foreign Secretary-level talks by India and refusal to resume the dialogue process are a setback to the efforts to establish good neighborly relations. The present situation on the LoC and Working Boundary (WB) is a further blow to these efforts, the Committee said.

The Committee noted that these developments have not only disappointed the people in Pakistan and India but the international community too has shared this disappointment.

The Committee further noted with regret the irresponsible statements made at the political level in India, in the backdrop of the situation at the LOC and Working Boundary.

The Committee stressed the fact that both countries are aware of each other's capabilities and said that war is not an option.

It is shared responsibility of the leadership of both countries to immediately diffuse the situation, the Committee said.

The Committee, however, made it clear that Pakistan's earnest desire for normalizing bilateral relations and defusing the situation at the LoC should not be seen as a sign of weakness. It is in fact a sign of maturity and sincerity.

The Committee expressed the hope that both countries would respect the ceasefire agreement of 2003 and maintain tranquility on the LoC and the Working Boundary, without indulging in blame-game and point-scoring.

The Committee expressed the 'resolve that any attempt to challenge Pakistan's territorial integrity and sovereignty will be responded with full force. The Armed Forces assured the National Security Committee that they are fully prepared to deal with any adversity at our borders'.

"Any further escalation will only complicate the environment for meaningful discussion on the Kashmir issue and adversely affect the broader objective of regional cooperation," it added. (ANI)