23rd Meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) was held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on 21 December 2017.The meeting was attended by the Federal Ministers of Defence and Interior, Chairman JSC , Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff , Chief of Air Staff , Director General Strategic Plans Division, Director General Inter Services Intelligence, Secretary Foreign Affairs and other senior officials.
The NCA was briefed comprehensively on the strategic environment. NCA took stock of the regional security environment and in this regard, noted with concern certain destabilizing actions in Pakistan’s neighborhood, which undermine the objective of maintaining strategic stability in South Asia. These include the massive arms build-up in the conventional domain, nuclearization of the Indian Ocean Region and plans for the development / deployment of BMD.
While expressing full confidence in Pakistan’s capability to address any form of aggression, the NCA reiterated Pakistan’s policy of developing and maintaining Full Spectrum Deterrence, in line with the policy of Credible Minimum Deterrence and avoidance of arms race. The NCA congratulated the scientists and engineers on their contributions to strengthen national defence capabilities. It appreciated the technological sophistication demonstrated during the tests of Babur III SLCM and Ababeel Missile System, which have ushered a new era in technological sophistication of Pakistan’s strategic capabilities.
The NCA took a detailed review of the Nuclear Security Regime and expressed full confidence in command and control systems and security measures in-place to ensure comprehensive stewardship and security of strategic assets and materials. It re-affirmed that, as a responsible nuclear State, Pakistan would continue to contribute meaningfully towards the global efforts to improve nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation measures.
The NCA appreciated the high standards of training and operational readiness of the strategic forces to meet all kinds of threats. The NCA asserted that Pakistan desires peaceful co-existence in the region and will endeavor to work with its neighbors to ensure strategic stability in South Asia.
The NCA noted with satisfaction, the implementation of national comprehensive export control measures, which are in line with international export control regimes. It reiterated that Pakistan has the requisite credentials to become part of various non-proliferation regimes, including the NSG, for which Pakistan seeks adoption of a non-discriminatory criteria based approach.
The NCA was also briefed on National Space Programme – 2047 and ‘Nuclear Power Programme’ for peaceful uses of nuclear technology, to meet growing energy needs. NCA fully endorsed both these programmes, as these are essential for future national socio-economic prosperity and growth. NCA particularly noted the potential of space programme in almost all current and emerging civilian sectors, ensuring resource generation and optimization. The role of nuclear applications in the fields of health, agriculture, medicine and industry was deeply appreciated. The NCA reiterated Pakistan’s interest in expanding international cooperation in these areas and play a positive role towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as a provider of expertise and services in peaceful nuclear application.