Top security czars brief lawmakers on current Kashmir, Afghan situation

The country's top security officials including ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed on Thursday briefed parliamentarians on matters related to the Kashmir dispute, the Afghan peace process and other crucial issues.

پارلیمنٹ کی قومی سلامتی کمیٹی کے اجلاس سے قبل ملکی عسکری قیادت سے ملاقات ہوئی۔ ملاقات میں ملکی سلامتی اور باہمی دلچسپی امور پر تفصیلی تبادلہ خیال ہوا
— Asad Qaiser (@AsadQaiserPTI) July 1, 2021

A special in-camera session of Parliamentary Defence Committee on National Security was held at the Parliament House in Islamabad with Speaker Asad Qaiser in chair, according to a statement issued by the Information Ministry.

The high-level huddle is being attended by Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and other parliamentary leaders.

The director-general ISI comprehensively briefed the members on internal and external national security paradigm in the ever evolving geo-political and strategic environment, particularly the Kashmir issue and the current situation in Afghanistan, the official communiqué read.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza and chief military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar were also present during the briefing..

Also read: Top security officials to brief key parliamentarians today

The participants were apprised that Pakistan would welcome the true representative government of the Afghan people and would continue to play its positive role in peace efforts in the war-torn country.

The security officials told the meeting that Pakistan's land is not being used in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. They also expressed hope that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against Pakistan, according to the statement.

The lawmakers expressed satisfaction over the briefing and wished for peace, development and prosperity in Afghanistan. They also appreciated the efforts of the COAS and the ISI chief in identifying various challenges and providing clarity on the issues confronted by Pakistan through a detailed and informative briefing.

The opposition members have been complaining that the elected representatives have been kept in the dark about Pakistan’s policy with regard to Afghanistan which faces an uncertain future and is potentially heading towards another civil war. Bilawal during his budget speech raised the issue and demanded a briefing from the relevant authorities on the Afghan situation.

Bilawal, on June 28, took credit for the meeting of the National Security Committee saying he was the one who was seeking this all-important meeting. It is expected that military and intelligence authorities would apprise the committee about the policy being pursued by Pakistan on Afghanistan and the country’s strategy to deal with the negative fallout of unrest in the neighbouring country.

Since the US and Nato forces began their withdrawal on May 1, the Afghan Taliban have made rapid inroads, capturing over 70 districts in 6 months and even stretching their influence to the north which had never been their stronghold in the past.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)