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Govt to brief parliamentary party leaders on NAP on May 2, Senate told

Updated April 26, 2019

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Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani calls for a joint sitting of parliament for a briefing on NAP. ─ APP/File
Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani calls for a joint sitting of parliament for a briefing on NAP. ─ APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Thursday that the government would brief parliamentary party leaders on the National Action Plan (NAP) on May 2.

Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati while speaking in the Senate disclosed the government’s fresh plan for a briefing on NAP, which was originally scheduled for March 28 but was put off amidst the opposition’s boycott.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had written letters to the parliamentary leaders, inviting them to a briefing session on NAP. Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, however, after consulting other opposition parties had made it clear that a briefing was acceptable only if it was given by the prime minister himself in the lower house of parliament.

Pakistan Peoples Party stalwart Mian Raza Rabbani, who had previously rejected the idea of a briefing on NAP as insufficient and an attempt to create an elite group within the parliament, once again opposed the move and observed that a joint sitting of parliament should be convened for a briefing on NAP. He noted that if required, it could be an in-camera session.

PPP believes a joint sitting of parliament should be convened for the purpose

He stressed that it was the constitutional right of every member of parliament to be kept informed on matters of national security and contribute to the formation of policy.

Mr Rabbani referred to the controversial interview of Prime Minister Imran Khan published in the New York Times and his talk with foreign media, saying that no contradiction or clarification had so far been issued. He also criticised the prime minister for his remarks that Pakistan’s soil had been used for attacks in Iran.

Sherry Rehman of the same party regretted that the prime minister chose to outsource a briefing on NAP to his foreign minister. She also criticised the premier over his belated visit to Quetta after a recent terror attack.

Mushahidullah Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz also referred to the prime minister’s remarks on Iran and pointed out that these were in contrast with those made by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi that people came from Iran to carry out terrorism in Pakistan. “It appears that the house is not in order,” he remarked.

The House also unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the recent terrorist attack in Sri Lanka.

Minister of State for Revenues Hammad Azhar informed the House that notices were being issued to those holding offshore companies.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2019