National interests will be protected at all costs: NCA

National Command Authority reiterates resolve to maintain full spectrum deterrence capability to deter all forms of aggression

ISLAMABAD – The National Command Authority (NCA) on Wednesday re-affirmed that the state remains fully cognisant of the evolving security dynamics of South Asia and will take all measures to safeguard its national security.

The meeting of NCA, which was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, also reviewed the regional security environment and was briefed on fast-paced strategic and conventional capabilities’ developments taking place in the neighbourhood. Federal ministers of defence, finance and interior, the adviser to the prime minister for national security and foreign affairs, special assistant to the prime minister for foreign affairs, chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, services chiefs and Strategic Plans Division DG attended the meeting, ISPR said on Wednesday.

In view of the growing conventional asymmetry, the NCA reiterated the national resolve to maintain “Full Spectrum Deterrence Capability” in line with the dictates of “Credible Minimum Deterrence” to deter all forms of aggression, adhering to the policy of avoiding an arms race. The NCA reviewed the internal security situation and acknowledged the sacrifices and appreciated successes of the armed forces in Operation Zarb-e-Azb. It reposed full confidence in Pakistan’s robust nuclear command and control structure and security arrangements related to country’s strategic assets. The meeting affirmed that as a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan will remain actively engaged with the international community on nuclear stability and security issues.

In its appraisal of the non-proliferation debate since the last meeting, the NCA expressed satisfaction on Pakistan’s enhanced outreach with the multilateral export control regimes. Pakistan shares the goals of non-proliferation and is committed to play its due role as a mainstream partner in the global non-proliferation regimes. The meeting renewed Pakistan’s interest in joining the multilateral export control regimes on non-discriminatory basis; including the membership of NSG. It said Pakistan has the requisite credentials for full access to civil nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, particularly to meet its energy shortages. The country seeks peace and strategic stability in South Asia as a cornerstone of its policy and considers conflict resolution, as the mean to achieve this end.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the security and safety of nuclear weapons and observed that an efficient nuclear control and command system is in place. He was given a comprehensive briefing by Strategic Plans Division Director General Lt Gen Mazhar Jamil, who said that a security force of 30,000 is protecting the nuclear arsenal. Pakistan currently possesses around 120 nuclear warheads as compared to India’s 100, a report said. Inter-Services Public Relations DG Major Asim Bajwa said the sacrifices made during Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the success of the operation was also acknowledged during the NCA meeting. Agencies deter all forms of aggression

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