Security situation: Military officials to brief parliamentary leaders tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: The top military leadership will brief political leadership in two houses of Parliament about security situation tomorrow (Wednesday).

The briefing will take place in the Committee Room No. 2 of the Parliament House and it will commence at 2:00 afternoon under close doors with strict security arrangements in place.

The briefing is being organised in the committee room of the Parliament House which is used for parliamentary group meetings of the major parties, including the ruling alliance. The briefing has conspicuously significant in the backdrop of ongoing political chaotic situation prevailing in the country, where the government is at dagger-drawn with the opposition. The major opposition party’s Quaid and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has forbidden his party members and leaders in having meeting with the military top officials without his permission.

The briefing has been organised at time when two opposition stalwarts, including leader of opposition Shahbaz Sharif and former leader of opposition in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah, are behind the bar on disputed counts. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has been parrying meetings where the opposition leaders are present ever-since he had assumed the office, unlikely to oblige the speaker with his presence in the briefing. Heis leader of the House in National Assembly and Senate both, by the virtue of his office.

The National Assembly Secretariat has issued a 28-word release pointing out that “meeting (in-camera) of Parliamentary Parties (National Assembly & Senate) will be held on 11th November 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in Com. Room 2, Parliament House, Islamabad.”

Well placed parliamentary sources told The News Monday evening that the polls in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) would figure prominently in the briefing, where people of the area are going to elect 33-member legislative assembly next Sunday (November 15). The tempered have gone extreme high during the electioneering for the purpose and fear has been expressed that enemy could avail the tension for widespread clashes under various pretexts in the area.

India has already disputed the elections in GB, while Azad Kashmir government has also expressed its serious reservations pertaining to an announcement made by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the GB as he accorded provisionally provincial status to the GB. The sources said that the briefing would cover all significant spectrums of national security related issues including developments regarding Kashmir, Afghan issue and some aspects of the foreign ties.

The opposition, as whole, annoyed about the conduct of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar of the ruling PTI for his partisan role in past and blatant defiance of rules and regulations to benefit the ruling party, has been boycotting all the formal and informal meetings convened by him for more than three months. The Speaker was blamed for disrespecting the leader of opposition, Shahbaz Sharif, by denying him opportunity to speak during a joint sitting’s proceedings, while legislation was being carried out in it.

Later, he turned down a request of heads count during legislation by ignoring the rules of the House. He instead putting efforts in recalling opposition members in House, facilitated the government to make legislation in the absence of opposition. Incidentally Speaker will chair the tomorrow briefing and he has extended the invitation for it.

The sources maintained that Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman will have consultations with PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif before taking a decision about attending the briefing or not as all the opposition parliamentary groups are part of the PDM. Leader of opposition in Senate and Chairman PML-N Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq in a brief chat with The News has said that the opposition leaders of the National Assembly and Senate will decide joining the briefing in the light of instructions of Nawaz Sharif, who will be consulted today (Tuesday) after receipt of the invitation for the briefing.

The sources said that the opposition wouldn’t write to Speaker for issuance of production orders for jailed leader of opposition Mian Shahbaz Sharif and former leader of opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah since the Speaker declined the opposition on more than one occasion to bring their leader in House through production orders. It is unlikely that the opposition parliamentary group leaders would turn up for the briefing unconditionally, the sources added.

This article originally appeared on The News International