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Pakistan to form ‘Special Cell’ to Synergize Response to Afghanistan Situation

by Newsweek Pakistan

Photo courtesy PID

Meeting of National Security Committee reiterates commitment to achieving a peaceful, stable Afghanistan

Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC) on Friday decided to form a dedicated cell tasked with coordinating various governmental agencies’ response to the evolving situation in Afghanistan, including international coordination for humanitarian assistance to the war-torn state.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the NSC met in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan chairing the meeting that focused on the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. It said that the prime minister was briefed on the evolving security situation, especially the possible impact on Pakistan of recent developments in Kabul.

The prime minister “directed the establishment of a dedicated cell to synergize various streams of efforts on Afghanistan across the government, including international coordination for humanitarian assistance and effective border management to prevent any negative spillover into Pakistan,” it said.

Since the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on Aug. 15, Pakistan has been providing the new government with humanitarian aid, as well as material support to boost the country’s exports. Islamabad has repeatedly urged the international community to continue aid to Kabul—and release assets frozen by the U.S. and international lenders—warning that abandoning the country at this juncture would recreate the conditions that could make it a haven for terrorist groups.

During the NSC meeting, Khan emphasized the need for a coordinated policy effort. “Committee members emphasized that the evolving situation in the region was extremely complex and that any instability in Afghanistan could have severe implications for Pakistan,” read the statement.

“The importance of international coordination on constructive political and economic engagement with the interim government in Afghanistan was also highlighted,” it said, adding that the meeting had stressed upon the urgent need for the international community to provide assistance to avert a humanitarian crisis.

The participants of the meeting also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to achieving a peaceful, stable and sovereign Afghanistan, as well as calls to the international community to provide assistance to the new Taliban regime to avert any humanitarian crisis.

The prime minister, according to the statement, expressed satisfaction on Pakistan’s support to the international evacuation effort from Afghanistan, claiming that the entire world had recognized Islamabad’s positive contribution in the effort.

In addition to the prime minister, the NSC meeting was attended by relevant members of the federal cabinet; all three Services chiefs; and the heads of intelligence services.

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