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The Prime Minister chaired the meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet today. This was the first DCC meeting since the new government took office in June 2013. The agenda included matters relating to national security.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister highlighted that Pakistan was facing formidable challenges domestically while far-reaching developments were taking place in the region. The DCC provided the platform to deliberate on these issues and craft an appropriate response.

Presentations were made by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Foreign Secretary and Director General(MO).

During the meeting, the reconstitution of the DCC into a Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) was approved. The CCNS will be chaired by the Prime Minister and would include Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior and Finance, the Chairman JCSC and Chiefs of Staff of Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force. The Committee will focus on the national security agenda with the aim to formulate a national security policy that will become the guiding framework for its subsidiary policies — defence policy, foreign policy, internal security policy, and other policies affecting national security.

In the context of regional peace and stability, the DCC deliberated in detail on the evolving situation in Afghanistan. It was emphasized that a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s vital interest and would contribute positively to peace and security as well as progress and prosperity in the region. Pakistan will fully support the international community’s efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Pakistan will also work to comprehensively upgrade its bilateral relations with Afghanistan in all dimensions.

The DCC received a briefing on the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and took note of the continued violations of the ceasefire. Pakistan’s policy of restraint and responsibility was highlighted. The Committee condemned in the strongest terms the unprovoked firing in the Shaqma sector which has resulted in the Shahadat of Army Captain Sarfraz and offered fateha. It was strongly emphasized that the ceasefire should be maintained in letter and spirit. All military and diplomatic channels should be used to prevent ceasefire violations. It was emphasized that Pakistan will also continue to seek dialogue and resolution of all outstanding issues with India peacefully.

The meeting was attended by Ministers for Finance, Information and Interior, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff.

22 August 2013

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