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Tuesday August 16, 2022

In-camera session of parliamentary body on national security underway

DG military operations briefed the parliamentary leaders on talks with banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), say sources

By Web Desk
July 05, 2022
National Assembly of Pakistan. — AFP
National Assembly of Pakistan. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: A crucial in-cameral session of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) is underway in Islamabad to discuss current national security issues.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is presiding over the sixth in-camera session of the PCNS, well-placed sources, said, adding that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Mister Murad Ali Shah were present in the meeting.

DG military operations briefed the parliamentary leaders on talks with banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the sources added.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, DG ISI, and members of the committee who held talks with the TTP are among the attendees.

Ahead of the session, a meeting was held between the prime minister and the military leadership at the Parliament House during which matters related to national and internal security were discussed, said the sources.

Besides national security, the in-camera meeting will take up other issues of significance, such as the Afghan situation and affairs related to banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The meeting was also attended by the heads of other security agencies, senior members of the National Assembly and Senate, members of NA and Senate standing committees on defence, officials of the ministries of defence, foreign affairs, interior, kashmir affairs, health, and federal secretariat of the national security division.

The National Assembly Secretariat sent a letter inviting 62 members of NA, Senate and  the PCNS, which comprises 27 members, including PM Shehbaz Sharif.

The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, senior parliamentary leaders of both houses, federal ministers, senior political leaders, provincial chief ministers, president and prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan have been specially invited to the meeting.

However, former prime minister Imran Khan has not been invited for the important PCNS meeting, as he isn’t a member of the committee and hasn’t accepted the position of parliamentary leader of his party either.

Special security arrangements will be in place outside and inside of the Parliament on the occasion. In all, 140 members of the two houses have been invited to the meeting, including members of the security committee. The NA, through a resolution last month, had already permitted use of the premises for the meeting.

Sources said that the members of the august body would be briefed by the high-ranking military officials and agencies concerned about the negotiations with the TTP, its outcome and their activities in the bordering areas with Afghanistan.