PM okays agenda for talks with India

Sharif also asks interior minister to bring to justice perpetrators of attack on Khanzada.—AFP/FileISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved the agenda for talks between national security advisers of India and Pakistan scheduled to be held in New Delhi next week, sources told Dawn.
The approval was given by the prime minister on Monday during a meeting with key members of his cabinet dealing with internal and external policies.
The meeting lasted over three hours. It was attended by Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Assistant to the PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry.
Also read: Nawaz vows to pursue NAP with full force
A participant told Dawn that the meeting was an amalgamation of both internal security and foreign policy matters. He said Mr Aziz gave a presentation about the agenda prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the talks with India. He said the agenda had been finalised and was now being sent to New Delhi.

Sharif asks interior minister to bring to justice perpetrators of attack on Khanzada

Moreover, he said, the recent statements by Afghan officials, including President Ashraf Ghani, about Pakistan’s alleged role in sponsoring terrorism inside Afghanistan were also discussed. “A strategy has been prepared to counter such statements as well as to remove concerns of Afghanistan,” he added.
Besides this, he said, the participants deliberated upon the forthcoming visit of the prime minister to the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly session.
Sartaj Aziz recently told reporters after attending a function in Islamabad that Pakistan would send its agenda to India with a confirmation letter for the coming talks so that there could be no misunderstanding or ambiguity “about what has to be discussed”.
India invited Mr Aziz earlier this month to a meeting with his counterpart Ajit Doval in New Delhi on Aug 23 and 24. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had agreed during their talks in Russia last month on convening a meeting of the national security advisers to discuss issues relating to terrorism.
The sources said Pakistan had decided to press for a discussion on Indian involvement in unrest in Balochistan, Karachi and tribal areas.
KHANZADA’S DEATH: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar briefed the meeting on reports by security and intelligence agencies on Sunday’s terrorist attack in Shadi Khan village near Kamra in which Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada and 19 others lost their lives.
According to the sources, the prime minister directed the interior minister not to spare the perpetrators of the attack and bring them to justice as early as possible. The prime minister vowed to pursue the National Action Plan (NAP) and said there would be no compromise on the issue of war against terrorism.
MUSHAHIDULLAH’S RESIGNATION: Earlier in the day, Mushahidullah Khan formally handed over his resignation as minister for climate change to the prime minister over his controversial interview to the BBC in which he had claimed that “the former head of ISI Gen Zaheerul Islam had hatched a conspiracy to remove the elected government” during last year’s sit-ins by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek of Dr Tahirul Qadri.
This interview, run by the BBC on the Independence Day, drew criticism from almost all political parties and sections of society, forcing the prime minister to take the extreme step of sacking the minister.
Nawaz Sharif did not even wait for the return of Mushahidullah Khan from the Maldives, where he had gone to attend an international conference on climate change. The minister was asked to return and submit his resignation.
Talking to Dawn after his meeting with Mr Sharif, Senator Mushahidullah said he had formally handed in his resignation on the premier’s directive.
He said he had told the prime minister that the interview had been recorded almost a week before the Independence Day. In reply to a question by the interviewer, “I had only said that we had been receiving information about the involvement of the ISI in the PTI protest sit-in”.
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