Pakistan’s National Security Adviser has said that “some world powers” want to denuclearise the country by taking advantage of its internal problems, according to a media report. Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua Janjua said this while briefing a meeting of the National Ulema and Mashaikh Council, a religious group, on the internal and external security challenges faced by Pakistan as well as the steps being taken by the government to streamline religious seminaries. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, the media was not invited to cover the event, which was presided over by Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousaf, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs later issued an official statement quoting the NSA as saying that certain international and regional countries were not in favour of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “These countries also want to undermine the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” Janjua said. The multi-billion dollar CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking southern Pakistan, and the Gwadar Port, to China’s restive Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region. As it passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), India has raised objection to the project.
Janjua did not name any country, but he was certainly referring to the growing strategic partnership between the US and India, the report said. “The same powers are also against peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he claimed. He said the current situation required of Pakistan to maintain unity not only to thwart such challenges but also to set its priorities straight. “Apart from protecting our geographical and ideological boundaries, we need to keep an eye on our internal challenges,” he said. He also briefed the meeting about steps the government was taking to reform religious seminaries. The statement did not provide any details on this issue. The religious affairs minister said soon some of the seminaries would be given college and university status.