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Posts tagged as National Security Council

India-Pak War Crises: PM Imran chaired National Command Authority meeting

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday chaired a National Command Authority meeting to discuss a response to India’s Line of Control (LoC) violation.
The NCA is the apex civilian-led command headed by the prime minister to oversee the policy formulation, exercises, deployment, research and development, employment and operational command and control of the country’s nuclear arsenals.The meeting was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the Chiefs of all three services and Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor.Prime Minister Imran Khan had chaired a meeting of the National Security Council(NSC) a day earlier which had rejected Indian claims of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot and said that Pakistan will decide the time and place of a response to the aggression.
DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday also warned India that it was time to wait for our surprise.I said three things: You will never be able to surprise us.We have not been surprised. We were ready, we responded, we denied.I said we will retain the escalation ladder. We have that initiative in our hand, he said.I said that we will surprise you. Wait for that surprise.I said that our response will be different. See it for yourself.
The response will come, and the response will come differently, he warned the Indian army.Indian military aircraft violated the LoC as they intruded from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said early Tuesday.
Indian aircraft intrusion across LoC in Muzaffarabad Sector within AJK was 3-4 miles. Under forced hasty withdrawal aircraft released payload which had free fall in the open area.
No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow, Major General Ghafoor wrote on .He also tweeted images of the payload of hastily escaping Indian aircraft which fell in [the] open.The incursion into the Pakistani air space follows a series of threats by Indian political and military leadership following the attack on an Indian Army convoy at Pulwama by local youth, in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.

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Indian allegations of Bahawalpur madrassah being JeM headquarters false: info minister

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday rejected Indian allegations that a madrassah in Bahawalpur, which the Punjab government recently took administrative control of, is the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
“During yesterday’s NSC meeting yesterday it was decided that NAP will be fully implemented.
Some steps were taken in this regard yesterday and today the Punjab government took administrative control of a madrassah in Bahawalpur,” the information minister said.”This is the madrassah that India was doing propaganda over and alleging that it is the headquarters of JeM.Tomorrow, the Punjab government will give media persons a tour of the madrassahs so everyone can see how it is functioning and see the truth for themselves,” he added.Stating that “around 700 students are studying at the madrassah”, the information minister said, “This step has nothing to do with the attack in occupied Kashmir.”

“NAP is our own security document over which all political parties are in consensus and we are implementing it,” he stressed.Tensions have soared between the nuclear-armed rivals since a suicide attack last week killed 41 soldiers in occupied Kashmir, the deadliest attack in years.

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DG ISPR to address important press conference today

RAWALPINDI: Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Asif Ghafoor is expected to address an “important” press conference at 3 pm on Friday.
The press conference comes at a time when Pakistan and India face heightened tensions after the Pulwama attack in the Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK).
On February 14, at least 49 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and many others injured when suspected militants targeted a convoy with a car bomb at Awantipora, in what is the worst attack ever on security personnel in the state.The car bomb attack was reportedly claimed by militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad and carried out by a 20-year-old Kashmiri man.

India has accused Pakistan of facilitating the attack as tensions between the two countries escalated and India announced it would withdraw Pakistan’s ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status. However, Pakistan has denied all allegations of terror financing.Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the Pakistan Army to respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure by India.The premier issued the directives during a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), which discussed the geo-strategic environment in the region as well as the situation arising after the Pulwama incident.Prior to the NSC meeting, Khan also held a meeting with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. The two dignitaries discussed the national and regional security situation, it was reported.

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Top North Korean official says his country faces major food shortages, blaming weather and …

A senior North Korean official says his country is facing dwindling food supplies and has been forced to cut food rations for its people, according to memo, written by Kim Song, the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, appears to be an unusual admission that the country lacks enough food to feed its people, a situation that Kim blamed on a combination of natural disasters and the sanctions regime that is making it difficult to obtain farming equipment.Song said the North Korean government was urgently requesting help from international organizations to feed its people.The memo was obtained by NBC News from the country’s United Nations mission.
Kim’s claims are difficult to verify, and his government has not always been a reliable source of internal statistics. He said a food assessment, conducted late last year in conjunction with the UN’s World Food Program, found that the country produced 503,000 fewer tons of food than in 2017 due to record high temperatures, drought, heavy rainfall and — in an unexpected admission — sanctions.In a plea for food assistance from international organizations, however, the memo states that sanctions “restricting the delivery of farming materials in need is another major reason” the country faces shortages that has forced it to cut “food rations per capita for a family of blue or white collar workers” from 550 grams to 300 grams in January.“All in all, it vindicates that humanitarian assistance from the UN agencies is terribly politicized and how barbaric and inhuman sanctions are,” the memo says.Though the country plans to increase food imports and harvest its crops early this year, the memo says that North Korea would still face food shortages and may only increase rations by 10 grams in July.This unusual admission from a country that tends toward secrecy came just before President Donald Trump prepares to face North Korea leader Kim Jong Un next week in Vietnam.The White House hopes to pressure Kim to rid his country of nuclear weapons.Experts warned, however, that the claims of a severe shortage might be a negotiating tactic ahead of the two-day summit.
“It may be admitting weakness, but it’s not without a plan,” said Dr. Victor Cha, who served as the director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council during the Bush administration.Cha said that North Korea may feel that it has some momentum to convince Trump to loosen the sanctions against it, especially with South Korea, China and Russia “beating down the doors of the United States.”But for the United States to blink in next week’s confrontation, the Trump administration will have to see results, Cha said.Related News Trump says second summit with North Koreas Kim Jong Un will be in Hanoi“They’re going to want some denuclearization steps from North Korea, but I don’t think the North Koreans are going to give up very much,” Cha said. “When we talk about any sanction-lifting though, a lot of experts would say the place where you can do the least harm and the most good for the North Korean people is through humanitarian sanctions.”Of North Korea’s 25 million people, 10.3 million or 41 percent of the population face food insecurity and 10.1 million suffer from malnutrition, according to a March 2018 UN report.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides field guidance to Farm No.1116 under KPA Unit 810, in this undated photo released in Pyongyang Sept. 13, 2016.  KCNA / via Reuters fileIn an attempt to increase the pressure against Kim’s regime and their nuclear program, the Trump administration increased sanctions that essentially cut off the flow of international humanitarian aid to North Korea, according to an August Reuters report. U.S. humanitarian aid in 2018 dropped nearly 57 percent from the year prior, the wire service reported.Though it is clear that North Korea is receiving less aid, it is more than unusual for them to publicly admit that sanctions are working and causing the nation to suffer.The White House National Security Council and the State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.North Korea has previously acknowledged food shortages, appealed for humanitarian aid and blamed international sanctions for creating problems for its agricultural production, experts and former U.S. officials said. The country has repeatedly suffered food crises in recent decades, due to a combination of inefficient collectivist farming methods and bad weather.
A devastating famine in the mid-1990s claimed the lives of up to three million people, and some aid experts called it one of the 20th century’s worst famines.Last year, the Trump administration stopped granting visas to humanitarian workers who had been traveling to North Korea to provide aid to farmers and medical assistance in a country where malaria and tuberculosis are endemic.Aid groups wrote a letter to the administration in October arguing that the block on visas violated international law, would exacerbate the country’s dire humanitarian situation and that would only undermine any diplomatic initiative by Washington.The administration told aid groups in January it would ease the restrictions to allow them to resume their work in the North.
Daniel Jasper, advocacy coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker charity that has conducted humanitarian work in North Korea for decades, said the sanctions and the way they have been enforced has “inhibited our operations.”“It’s reasonable to infer there would be food insecurity” as a result of the sanctions, Jasper said.Even if North Korea managed its resources more efficiently, it does not have enough arable land to feed its population of about 24 million people, Jasper said. Much of the Korean peninsula’s fertile land lies in South Korea.“The division has always taken a toll on food security in the North,” he said.The North Korean regime in the past also has linked negotiations over its nuclear program to food aid, demanding more assistance as a condition for taking part in talks.The new memo is consistent with Pyongyang’s tactics “to weaken the sanctions regime by appealing to humanitarian concerns,” said Jung Pak, a former CIA officer and now senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Even though the regime imports hundreds of millions of dollars in luxury items, it consistently blames the U.S. and U.N. for its problems,” she said.Sue Mi Terry, who tracked North Korea as a CIA analyst, said she believes the regime is preparing the way for the upcoming summit.“What they want is sanctions relief.That’s the main thing that they’re looking for,” said Terry, now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They are laying the groundwork for this meeting with Trump.This makes sense.”The Trump administration will probably be open to broadening exemptions for humanitarian aid, as it would be something concrete to offer to Pyongyang without having to fully lift the economic sanctions before North Korea makes substantial concessions over its nuclear weapons program, she said.This could be “one of the deliverables at this second summit,” Terry said.Phil McCauslandPhil McCausland is an NBC News reporter focused on the rural-urban divide.

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