The country's top security officials briefed parliamentarians on matters related to the Kashmir dispute, the Afghan peace process and other security issues.
According to sources, Pakistan’s military and political leadership has decided in principle not to give military bases to the United States. This important decision was taken in the meeting of the National Security Committee yesterday (Thursday).
The participants of the meeting were told that a major decision had been taken on pursuing ties with other countries on the basis of equality. Moreover, a policy decision on not becoming part of any conflict had been taken.
Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar were also in attendance.
In the session, which lasted for over six hours with several breaks, the army chief and the DG ISI briefed the participants of the meeting in detail about Pakistan's efforts for the Afghan peace process and answered lawmakers’ questions.
The briefing also suggested that the US didn’t want to see peace in the region while emphasising that peace in Afghanistan was important for Pakistan”.
The meeting agreed to advance foreign policy and national security issues with national consensus.
The participants of the meeting were told in the briefing that seven to eight warlords want a civil war in Afghanistan and if there is a civil war, the effects will be on Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention that the government had turned down a US request for setting up of drone bases in Pakistan for future counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.
During the meeting, DG ISI Lt Gen Faiz Hameed gave a briefing on the current situation in Kashmir and Afghanistan, besides the internal and external security situation, and the challenges due to the evolving nature of developments in the region.
DG ISI Lt Gen Faiz Hameed expressed concern that after the US withdrawal, Afghan refugees may relocate to Pakistan.
Pakistan made sincere efforts for Afghan peace process, the meeting was told, while it was also noted that due to Pakistan's efforts, meaningful talks have begun between the US and the Taliban.
According to the sources the participants were told that Pakistan would welcome the true representative government of the Afghan people and would continue to play its positive role in peace efforts in the war-torn country.
The security officials told the meeting that Pakistan's land is not being used in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. They also expressed hope that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against Pakistan, said a statement issued.
The political leadership was told that in view of the situation it was critical to maintain consensus on issues of national interest, while politics should be restricted to governance and related political matters.
According to the handout, political leaders "expressed satisfaction" at the briefing.