A day after the Indian Air Force (IAF) struck across the Line of Control (LoC) to destroy Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camps, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned a special meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) on Wednesday to "discuss a response to India's LoC violation". The prime minister is the chairperson of the NCA, which controls the country's nuclear arsenal.
The second high-level meeting has been called a day after India conducted airstrike across the LoC and destroyed the JeM training camps in Balakot sector. This came twelve days after the JeM claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in South Kashmir's Pulwama that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) paramilitary troopers.
The meeting of the NCA today will be held at the Prime Minister's office. Earlier, Imran Khan has convened an 'emergency meeting' to discuss and review the security situation with high-level officials in his ministry. Though the Pakistani PM completely denied that New Delhi had struck JeM on Pakistani soil, Imran Khan vowed that his country would choose the time and place to respond to what he called "uncalled-for aggression" by India.
The meeting will reportedly be attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and Army Chief General Qamar Javaid Bajwa. Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, heads of sensitive institutions and security officials will also attend the meeting. Director General Strategic Plans Division will also attend the meeting.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal and Finance Minister Asad Umar will also be present at the meeting.
WHAT IS NATIONAL COMMAND AUTHORITY?
The NCA was formally set up in 2000 following the overthrow of the civilian government in a military coup and approval from Pakistan's National Security Council and its then Chief Executive General Parvez Musharraf. It is Pakistan's principal decision making body on nuclear issues. Pakistan has invoked its nuclear capabilities in the past as well when tensions between the two countries escalated.
The NCA oversees the strategic commands of the Pakistani army, air force and Navy. It comprises the Employment Control Committee, Development Control Committee and a Strategic Plans Division of Pakistan. The other members of this body will be the ministers of foreign affairs, defence and interior departments, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, the chiefs of the armed forces and the director-general of the Strategic Plans Division.