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Federal Ministers,
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee,
Chiefs of the Defence Forces,
Federal Secretaries.

National Security is a sacred duty. This Committee is the highest forum to assess, review and take decisions on all National Security issues.

On 2nd May 2011, the US Forces carried out a covert operation in Abbottabad which resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden. This development has raised several serious questions which are being debated internationally and more specifically in the US and Pakistan.

Questions relating to our defence preparedness; capability of our intelligence agencies; our possible response to a repeat of such action as well as legal and moral issues pertaining to sovereignty and propriety, are not only being asked but are also a cause of anxiety and concern to the people of Pakistan.

I have in my Policy Statement to the National Assembly taken the Nation into confidence on the Government’s position and addressed some of these issues. I have also called for a Joint Session of the Parliament in-camera whereby the representatives of the people could have an opportunity to get answers to the questions that they may have.

Besides the public discourse, it is certainly my intention that the DCC evaluates in a comprehensive manner the situation arising from the Abbottabad operation and take such decisions as are necessary to augment National Security.

Evidently, there are two aspects that must be considered in depth. One, is the implications for National Security and Two, implications for our Foreign Policy.

Well-considered, cohesive and an effective strategy must be worked out with an eye to the future.

I am of the view that we should learn from the past but after drawing the lessons must plan for the future.

We must collectively as a nation close our ranks, have confidence in our collective strength and do all that is necessary and good not only for Pakistan but for promoting regional stability, security and peace.

It is imperative that all arms of the Government i.e. both Civil and Military with the full support of the Parliament and the people of Pakistan, work together to the best of their ability to safeguard Pakistan’s sovereignty, security and for promoting Pakistan’s national interests.

I would now ask the Foreign Secretary to give us a briefing on the implications of this development in the Foreign Policy domain.

13 May 2011

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