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Pakistan opens official 'War Book' to gear for crisis

ISLAMABAD, October 19 (Internews): With Pakistan's armed forces on a
state of high alert, the secret 'War Book' - a manual of what government
departments are required to do in case of emergencies and crises - has
been dusted off the shelves and every one has been asked to read and
review it.
A government spokesman, when contacted, reassured: "It is just a
precautionary exercise to sensitise the authorities that they should be
aware of what is written in the War Book."
"The government has not yet declared any of the three stages - standby,
precautionary or war stage - that are mentioned in the war book. We are
doing all this in an informal manner to avoid any unnecessary scare," he
said.
But the government, it is said, has carefully started reviewing the
responsibilities of different federal and provincial authorities at the
time of crisis or during war.
A high level committee under secretary cabinet and comprising
secretaries of the foreign, information, commerce and interior
ministries, deputy chief of staff to the chief executive and joint staff
of headquarter has been assigned to start meeting secretaries of federal
ministries, in small groups, and then to meet the representatives of
provincial governments to remind of their responsibilities during crisis
situations.
The committee has already held a meeting on last Saturday with the first
group of federal secretaries including those of railways, food and
agriculture, and petroleum. In the future meetings, secretaries of other
ministries divisions would be invited to review their duties and
responsibilities.
"We are reviewing the War Book to get conscious of the steps of
preparedness without taking any physical action, a source said, adding
that there is a federal war book, a provincial war book and a
departmental War Book containing details of responsibilities of all
respective different tiers of the government machinery. -Internews

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