PM Imran Khan orders ‘establishment of dedicated cell’ on Afghanistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday ordered the “establishment of a dedicated cell” on Afghanistan to synergize the government’s efforts in Afghanistan, said the PM Office in a statement.
In a series of tweets, the PM Office said that PM Imran issued the orders in a meeting of the National Security Committee.
“The National Security Committee was convened under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. The meeting was attended by relevant federal cabinet members, all services chiefs, and heads of intelligence services,” tweeted the PM Office.
The meeting was attended by relevant Federal Cabinet members, all Services Chiefs, and heads of intelligence services. pic.twitter.com/4whV4elewq
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) October 8, 2021
The meeting was given a “detailed briefing on the evolving regional security situation”. It also focused on the recent developments in Afghanistan and the possible impact on Pakistan.
“The committee reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable and sovereign Afghanistan. The participants noted, with concern, the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and emphasised the urgent need for the international community to assist in averting a humanitarian crisis,” said the PM office.
The officials were informed of the importance of international coordination for a “constructive political and economic engagement” with the interim government in Afghanistan.
“The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction on Pakistan’s support to the international evacuation effort from Afghanistan and noted that the entire world had recognised Pakistan’s positive contribution,” said the PM office.
The office of the premier shared that the participants of the meeting urged that the “evolving situation in the region was extremely complex”. They also warned that any instability in Afghanistan could have severe implications for Pakistan.
“Agreeing with this view, the Prime Minister stressed the need for a coordinated policy effort. He directed the establishment of a dedicated cell to synergize various streams of efforts on Afghanistan across the government, including international coordination for humanitarian assistance and effective border management to prevent any negative spillover into Pakistan,” concluded the statement.
US official in Pakistan to discuss Afghanistan’s future
The NSC meeting was held at a time when United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is in Pakistan to discuss Afghanistan.
The visiting US official had met Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf, separately, discuss “Afghanistan’s future”.
In a tweet, Sherman wrote: “I met today with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to discuss Afghanistan’s future and the important and long-standing US-Pakistan relationship.”
“We look forward to continuing to address pressing regional and global challenges,” the visiting dignitary added.
Earlier, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf told the United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in a meeting that the international community must engage with the new Taliban-led government in Afghanistan.
Sherman, after CIA chief William Burns, is one of the first high-level officials under President Joe Biden to visit Pakistan.
During the Islamabad meeting, the two sides discussed the evolving situation in the region after the Taliban takeover.
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