Kashmir dispute is vital security interest of Pakistan: Shehryar Afridi

Islamabad, January 20 (KMS): Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Khan Afridi Thursday said that the National Security Policy is a timely and prudent initiative and it has put Kashmir dispute as a vital security interest of Pakistan which is a welcome sign.

He expressed these views while addressing the participants of the in-camera meeting of the Committee held at the Parliament House in Islamabad.

National Security Advisor Moeed Yousuf briefed the committee on the National Security Policy.

He said that irrespective of the debate on the policy, Jammu and Kashmir has been listed as a separate entity in the policy document and has been declared as vital national security interest of the country.

It merits mention that identifying Kashmir as vital national security interest means that any threat to vital national security interest would evoke war.

Moeed said the policy revolves around economic security. He said that our target is the economic security and ideally we want to normalise relations with India, Afghanistan and other neighbours without compromising our core issues and vital national interests. “Jammu and Kashmir is vital national security interest for Pakistan and no normalisation can take place while compromising Kashmir dispute,” he added.

He said Kashmiris are facing crimes against humanity and war crimes at hand of the Indian Illegally occupational regime in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan would keep exposing Indian crimes to the world.

Spokesperson of MOFA Asim Iftikhar said that the policy document describes Kashmir dispute as vital national security interest.

He said that the policy reaffirms political, moral support to Kashmiris. He said that resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute is central to our relations with India and it is for the first time Pakistan declared Kashmir as vital national security interest.

“The policy says that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would decide their future through right to self-determination per UN resolutions. The onus is on India to create enabling environment for peace and development in the region.

The international community is increasingly criticising India for atrocities and war crimes being committed by India’s Illegally occupational regime in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that Moeed Yousaf had added new ideas and vigour to the policymaking and all members laud his role. He said that both houses of the Parliament should also be briefed on the National Security Policy.

Moeed Yousaf said that the National Security Division had briefed the Parliamentary Committee on National Security but the opposition had observed its boycott for political reasons. He said that this policy is a start and it would evolve with the input coming from various stakeholders.

Shehryar Khan Afridi asked what is the proposals of the NSP about Beharis, Bengalis and Afghans living in Pakistan as refugees or destitute. He said that the policy proposals about non-state actors should also be briefed.
The meeting also discussed a detailed plan to observe February 5 as Black Day.

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