National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has convened a session of the Parliamentary committee for national security comprising members of National Assembly and the Senate. Sources say that top military officials will brief the committee on the Afghanistan situation as well as the recent agreement signed with the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and DG ISI General Faiz Hameed will also attend the meeting. NSA Moeed Yusuf and other government officials will also be present on the occasion.
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) have confirmed that they would attend the meeting. Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif will also be present in the session.
PPP leader Sherry Rehman told Friday Times that her party has adopted a strong stance against the agreement signed between government and the proscribed TLP, adding that the PPP will raise this issue during the national security meeting. She said that PPP had always maintained that agreements should not be signed behind closed doors and the party would reiterate this demand during the session.
The agreement signed with the TLP on Sunday has been kept hidden and no details have been made public. Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation on Wednesday, but did not mention the controversy surrounding the agreement.
JUI-F MNA Mufti Shakoor told Friday Times that his party would review the agreement signed with TLP and extend support to it if it is in line with the constitution of Pakistan. If the agreement contradicts the constitution, he said, the JUI-F would oppose it. “In any case, the deal must be presented before the parliament,” he said.
MNA Mohsin Dawar, when asked about the agreement, said that those who signed the agreement did not have the authority to do so. “It is the parliament that has the authority to take such important decisions,” he said. He lamented that workers of the TLP who engaged in violence and brought cities to a standstill were treated in a friendly manner while a public representative MNA Ali Wazir is in prison over a speech.
Dawar added that he would attend the national security briefing if he is invited.