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

The fast changing National Security paradigm, has compelled us to meet twice within a month. We are here to take a holistic review of the impending threats to our National Security with a view to find answers, to put an end, to the concerns being expressed regarding state of security of the country.

In the wake of the terrorist attack on PNS Mehran on 22nd May, serious concerns are being expressed about our ability to deal with the gravity of problems posed due to terrorism. These concerns need to be clearly addressed and all efforts should be made to reinforce our capacity to effectively eliminate terrorism.

I have personally visited PNS Mehran. The purpose was not only to get an in-depth briefing on the terrorist attack, but also to express my heartfelt condolences for all those brave men who have lost their lives as well as to ascertain the well-being of the injured.

On behalf of the Government and the people of Pakistan, I expressed our full support and solidarity with the officers and men of the Pakistan Armed Forces for their services in ensuring national security.

A full investigation has been ordered on the Mehran terrorist attack.

The people of Pakistan will never be intimidated by these acts of terror.

Each terrorist attack reinforces our national resolve to eliminate this menace. There is no cause for any despondency.

However, we certainly need to revisit the steps required to avert and pre-empt such attacks. I have no doubt that we have the will and capacity to deal with these challenges.

Concerns have also been expressed about the safety and security of our strategic assets. Any speculation in this regard is unwarranted.

Under the National Command Authority, we have an effective command and control system for ensuring the safety and security of our nuclear weapons and related systems. These arrangements conform with the highest international standards and practices followed by other nuclear weapon states.

The Government is determined to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and property of our citizens.

It is imperative that we take steps urgently to enhance our intelligence capabilities and improve system-wide coordination for averting attacks.

It is clear that we are now entering another defining phase in the struggle against terrorists and for reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan.

Our engagement with regional states and major powers has intensified.

There is certainly the need for coherence and a wholesome response to the unique and emerging challenges.

I have no doubt that our courageous people and state institutions will not only safeguard Pakistan’s national interests, but shall meet all challenges, avail new opportunities and uphold the dignity and honour of our nation.

Our history testifies to the resilience of our people and state institutions. We will overcome all challenges. Many of these challenges arise from global and regional developments.

We are destined to play an important role in regional and global affairs. Our geo-strategic positioning impels us to shoulder responsibilities for the cause of global peace.

The nation is proud of the sacrifices of the martyrs of the Armed Forces and honours them.

The diversity and the quantum of challenges to the National Security demand that we may have to make a departure from our conventional thinking and look for out-of-the-box solutions and carve out alternate strategies. I strongly believe, that we have potential and resilience to face these challenges up front and to meet the aspirations of our people.

In today’s deliberations, we should also bear in mind, the resolution unanimously adopted by the Joint Sitting of the Parliament.

I want, through this forum, a message to go out to the nation that our strategic assets are well protected and our capability to defend our sovereignty, territorial integrity and liberties of our people, is very much in place. The incident is a serious threat to our security paradigm, but with the help of our resolute nation we will surely be successful in overcoming this unique challenge.

Now I ask the Secretary Cabinet to proceed with the agenda.

25 May 2011

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