Pakistan spy chief briefs PM over security ahead of SAARC summit

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Islamabad, Nov 24: Pakistan's spy agency chief Lt General Rizwan Akhtar today met Nawaz Sharif and briefed him about matters relating to national security, just ahead of the Prime Minister's visit to Nepal for the SAARC Summit.

The meeting assumes significance as there are reports that Prime Minister Sharif may have some sort of interaction with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during the regional summit in Kathmandu on Nov 26-27.

Nawaz Sharif

According to diplomatic sources, Sharif wants to go to the Nepalese capital fully prepared about the latest LoC situation and other related security matters.

No formal statement was issued about the meeting which lasted for about an hour, but local media reported matters related to both internal and external security were discussed.

It was the second meeting between Lt Gen Akhtar and Sharif after the former took over as ISI chief on Nov 7. Akhtar, a close ally of Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, assumed office at a time when Pakistan is faced with grave internal challenges.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit follows some of the worst cross-border violence by Pakistan in a decade, and comes as NATO-led troops depart Afghanistan after 10 years of fighting with the Taliban.

The SAARC member countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The summit is expected to bring focus onto commerce and trade between member countries, and threat from extremism.


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