Pakistan parliament to be briefed on matters of national security

Move comes after lawmakers protested last week’s cabinet decision to launch a military operation against militants in areas bordering Afghanistan

By Agencies

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Senior military officers would brief the National Assembly in an in-camera session. — APP file
Senior military officers would brief the National Assembly in an in-camera session. — APP file

Published: Fri 14 Apr 2023, 2:41 PM

Pakistan’s top military leadership will brief members of the lower house of parliament on the security situation prevailing in the country during an in-camera sitting on Friday as lawmakers from the newly-created tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa voiced their opposition to a government’s decision to launch a fresh military operation, vowing to “resist” such an action in the region.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif informed lawmakers that parliament would be briefed on April 14 in-camera on the matters of national security.

The prime minister said this in response to a point raised by a parliamentarian from the Waziristan tribal region.

Shehbaz said that the parliamentarians would also be able to put questions on the relevant subject and the reservations of lawmakers from the tribal region would be listened to and responded positively to satisfy his concerns.

"This will be a healthy interaction," the prime minister said.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif informed the National Assembly that the military leadership would brief parliament regarding the state’s policy on countering militancy, stating that the security establishment was cognisant of the prevailing situation.

Earlier, Ali Wazir from the tribal region said that the country’s current policy regarding militancy needed to be reviewed.

“I appeal to the government that those responsible for the rise in terrorism (...) those who brought these militants into Pakistan should be punished,” he said.

“Until and unless these people are punished, we won’t allow the new operation to commence,” he said.

Another tribal lawmaker, Mohsin Dawar, said that operations were conducted in the past but none of them was successful in eliminating terrorism.

The Pakistan tribal region lies along the volatile Afghan border and it has been badly hit due to fighting between the security forces and militants. The tribal people and their representatives are apprehensive that any new operation would catch them in the crossfire.

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