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Sharif Seeks Broad Support For Pakistan’s New Security Policy

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Sharif Seeks Broad Support For Pakistan's New Security Policy

Sharif Seeks Broad Support For Pakistan’s New Security Policy

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday voiced his appreciation for the country’s new security policy after it was unveiled by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the National Assembly.

Speaking after the presentation of the policy, Sharif said democracy was the only panacea to problems facing the nation and urged the country to stand united for a secure and bright future, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The prime minister invited proposals and a discussion in the house on the policy to further fine tune it.

He stated that there was no confusion in the government policy against extremism and if anybody thinks it needed more clarity, suggestions and recommendations would be welcomed.

He said the process has been clear and transparent and the media and the nation were occasionally briefed about the progress on the dialogue between the committees.

“We have been making the dimension of dialogue clear. We had briefed the parliamentary leaders and if there would be a need, we shall again do it,” he said.

“We are ready for heart-to-heart discussions, seek opinions and bring about improvement,” he said in regard to new security policy and appreciated Chaudhry Nisar and his team for preparing it.

He said the policy was not a final document and could be improved further in the light of the recommendations of the house.

“It is a state policy. It is not the policy of the government or any specific political party and everybody should contribute to it,” he added.

Earlier Wednesday, unveiling the new security policy, Chaudhry Nisar underlined a major policy shift, saying attacks by militants would be met with an appropriate military response.

Giving details of the policy in the National Assembly, Nisar said that the matter was discussed with all political parties and the decision was agreed upon unanimously, Dawn online reported.

Stating that only the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had assisted the government in the formation of the new policy, he thanked the party for its recommendations. He added that none of the provinces had contributed to policy formation.

Stating that developing a political consensus was imperative to deal with terrorism, the interior minister said that it was not appropriate to score points on the issue when it was not just peace but the state’s existence at stake.

Appealing to the country’s political forces to be wary of developing differences on the issue, Nisar said if the state failed to establish peace, little else would matter.

Saying the issue was complicated and its resolution not easy, Nisar said parliament should have a single opinion on terrorism, according to the Dawn report.

He called upon all political forces to assist the government in dealing with the issue as it had assumed gargantuan proportions.

Stating that the policy would be improved step by step, the minister said its implementation and effectiveness would be reviewed during the next six months.

He added that the 100-page policy document comprised three parts, one of which was secret.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Nawaz sharif

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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