Taliban talks, Afghan polls: government takes stock of situation, firms up strategy

A high-level meeting reviewed country’s overall security situation, talks with the Taliban, Afghan presidential elections and withdrawal of Nato forces from Afghanistan. It was presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here on Friday. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Director General ISI Lieutenant-General Zaheer-ul-Islam attended the meeting.

The meeting decided in principle to continue the dialogue process with Taliban. A government strategy to consider the demands of the Taliban was also decided in the meeting. The agenda for the next meeting between the government and the Taliban committees was also prepared.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan briefed the participants of the meeting about the progress in talks between the government and Taliban. A briefing regarding internal and external security challenges was also given by the ISI chief. Afghan presidential elections are scheduled to be held on today (Saturday). Earlier, Pakistan announced that it would maintain strict vigilance on its borders with Afghanistan to avert any untoward situation.

Meanwhile, Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) has said that additional troops have been deployed on Pak-Afghan border since 20th March 2014, to reinforce existing security arrangements for conduct of peaceful elections in Afghanistan. A spokesman for ISPR on Friday said that fool-proof security arrangements have been made for security at Pak-Afghan in co-ordination with Afghan security forces in the wake of presidential election in a militancy-torn Afghanistan.

He said that a thorough search was conducted by immigration staff at crossing points besides enhancing and patrolling in the areas along the border. Strict measures have been taken on routes from mainland leading towards border areas. All crossing points have been closed till conclusion of polling on the Election Day, the spokesman added. Communication at Border Co-ordination Centres on both sides has also been enhanced and a hotline contact has been established between the two Military Operations directorates. Additionally, an aerial surveillance will also be carried out to check any untoward cross-border movement.

Recorder Report