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ISLAMABAD: Citing the “dictatorial attitude” of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and the recent “bulldozing” of bills in the joint sitting of the Parliament, the joint opposition on Thursday, announced to boycott the forthcoming in-camera briefing of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) scheduled for December 6th (Monday).

This was announced through a joint statement, which stated that after consultation on Wednesday, a decision was taken to boycott the in-camera session of the committee to be briefed by National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf on Monday.

The joint opposition in the parliament, includes Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awam Party (PK-MAP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal), Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), National Party (NP),and Mohsin Dawar’s “National Democratic Movement (NDM)”.

“The joint opposition declare that the political parties under the joint opposition have always treated issues involving the constitution, law, national security and general public with seriousness and attached importance to them. That’s why, despite the absence of the Leader of the House [Prime Minister] and his complete detachment from important national and public issues, the opposition parties not only fully participated in the briefings and meetings on national security, and other important national issues but also presented their suggestions,” it stated.

NA body on national security to meet on Monday

It further stated that the joint opposition has decided to boycott the session due to the government’s “dictatorial attitude” and its recent move to “bulldoze” important bills in joint sitting of the Parliament.

It further stated that the parties under the joint opposition have a “very mature vision, extensive experience and seriousness on critical issues related to the Constitution, the country and the people.”

In the past too, it added that the joint opposition has always played a historic role in protecting, guarding and promoting the rights and interests of the country and the people.

“In the current “controversial time” too, the joint opposition, while giving priority to the interests of Pakistan and the people, has played its role keeping all kinds of political sub-interests and affiliations at bay,” it stated, adding: “But it is very unfortunate that the government is adopting the policy of using Parliament as a rubber stamp.”

The joint opposition also accused the government of not raising important issues related to external and internal threats and those concerning the common man, adding that it was tackling vital issues through such in-camera briefings.

“In reality, the government has virtually boycotted the Parliament, which is a constitutional and legal forum of the public to discuss such issues,” it added.

“The joint opposition understands that the “selected” prime minister avoided to attend important parliamentary briefings including the on the situations of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, because he [Imran Khan] does not believe in the democratic spirit of consultation and the importance of tolerating differing opinions,” it stated.

“In these circumstances, such an in-camera briefing session would only pave the way for government’s another “drama” which would have nothing to do with the solution of the critical issues facing by the people and the country,” it added.

It added: “Furthermore, the joint opposition understands that the prime minister’s national security adviser [Moeed Yusuf] is deprived of relevant information and authority on decision-making and behind-the-scenes facts. These advisors are mere “showpieces” whose objectives had nothing to do with the real world and future scenarios.”

Earlier, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser convened a meeting of the national security committee on December 6 to be briefed by NSA Moeed Yusuf on national security and other important issues.

The National Assembly Secretariat sent invitations to leaders of all parliamentary parties in both houses of the parliament, Senate and National Assembly, including Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Maulana Asad Mehmood of the JUI-F, Tariq Bashir Cheema of PML-Q, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of the MQM-Pakistan, Khalid Magsi of BAP, Ghuos Buksh Mehar from GDA, Amir Haider Khan of the ANP, Sheikh Rasheed of Awami Muslim League, BNP chief Akhtar Mengal, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti of JWP, parliamentary leader of the PPP in Senate Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Azam Tarar of PML-N and senators Anwarul Haq Kakar, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor, Faisal Ali Sabzwari, Tahir Bizanjo, Hidayatullah Khan, Shafiq Tareen, Kamil Ali Agha, Mushtaq Ahmed, Muzafar Hussain, Muhammad Qasim, and Dilawar Khan.

The chief ministers of the provinces, president and prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister, were also invited to the meeting as special invitees.

Federal ministers, including Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Shafqat Mehmood, Asad Umar, Syed Fakhar Imam, Hammad Azhar, Dr Shireen Mazari, Ali Amin Gandapur, Ali Muhammad Khan, Adviser to PM on Finance Shaukat Tarin, as well secretaries of the ministries of foreign affairs, interior, defence, finance, Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan and national security have also been invited as special invitees.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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