ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC), demanded that the United States take back its decision accepting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Trump’s one-sided decisions are not acceptable by Pakistan,” the committee declared in a session chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and attended by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
“It is the US administration’s responsibility to take steps to find a fair solution to the Jerusalem conflict.”
The committee agreed that the entire Muslim Ummah has reservations on the US government’s Jerusalem decision.
The United States was further isolated today (Monday) over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when it blocked a United Nations Security Council call for the declaration to be withdrawn.
The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”
The draft also affirmed, “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
Quetta church attack
The committee condemned a recent attack on Bethel Memorial Church in Quetta that left nine dead and 50 injured.
The NSC declared that the attack was ‘against the Islamic teachings of tolerance and peace.’
National Action Plan
Secretary Interior Arshad Mirza briefed the committee members on the National Action Plan (NAP), stating that there has been significant progress in the execution of NAP.
During the meeting, it was agreed by committee members that there is a need to increase focus on policy and institutional amendments that must be catered.
“Pakistan is strongly resolved to fulfil the duties of the financial task force,” the committee members declared, adding that Pakistan is a responsible member of the international fraternity.
Directives issued by the committee include the expedition of the national security policy, with the help of all stakeholders.
Middle East security situation
The present security situation of the Middle East and the improvement of relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council and Iran were also discussed during the meeting.
Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua briefed the committee on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit in Istanbul.
“Pakistan will continue its efforts to keep the Muslim Ummah united,” the committee resolved.
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, and National Security Adviser Lieutenant General (retired) Nasser Janjua along with senior military and civil leadership were in attendance.
COAS to give national security briefing to Senate committee
General Bajwa will brief the Senate Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday (today – December 19).
The committee will begin its meeting at 10AM and according to a notice, the COAS and DG Military Operations would brief members on the emerging national security paradigm for Pakistan with respect to recent visits and developments.
The Committee of the Whole House was constituted ‘to prepare policy guidelines in light of the emerging regional realities and the role of the United States.’
The relations between Pakistan and the United States have suffered over the past few months, after US President Donald Trump, in a fiery speech back in August, accused Pakistan of offering a ‘safe haven’ to terrorists as he announced a revised policy towards the Afghan war.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said he does not enjoy the task of dealing with countries like Pakistan and North Korea. He also said that relations with Pakistan, which he termed an important and valued partner, had drifted and had to be brought back to one of common interest.
Tillerson had visited Pakistan in October and held meetings with the country’s top political and military leadership.
Pakistan also strongly condemned Trump’s recent decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.