Senate, NA bodies to be briefed on Afghan situation

Published November 14, 2021
This file photo shows the National Assembly. — APP/File
This file photo shows the National Assembly. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Members of the foreign affairs committees of both houses of parliament in their separate meetings next week are set to receive detailed briefings on the latest situation in Afghanistan with particular reference to the government’s policy regarding the recognition of the new government in the war-torn country.

The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs headed by Senator Sherry Rehman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is scheduled to meet on Nov 16 at the Parliament House whereas the members of the National Assembly’s standing committee are set to visit the Foreign Office the next day.

Besides receiving briefing on the government’s Afghan policy after the recent changes in Afghanistan, the Senate committee members are set to seek details of the humanitarian assistance being provided to the new Afghan government, shows the agenda for the meeting issued by the Senate Secretariat.

The committee members, according to the agenda, will also “review and discuss the ways and means to counter Indian propaganda against Pakistan after the withdrawal of the US and allied forces from Afghanistan” in September.

Ways to counter Indian propaganda against Pakistan after US withdrawal to be discussed

The members will also receive a detailed briefing on the recent visits of US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to India and Pakistan with special reference to her press statements given in India on Pak-US relations and Pakistan’s reaction.

Read: Anti-terror talks with Pakistan to continue, says US

Besides Ms Rehman, who also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, a number of key political figures are the members of the Senate standing committee. Prominent among those are Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem, Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Sadia of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F).

Similarly, the members of the National Assembly committee headed by Ehsanullah Tiwana will receive a briefing on “recent developments in Afghanistan”. The committee members will also seek details of the “role of the international community to bring stability to Afghanistan”.

The committee members will also discuss the role of Pakistan in highlighting the “systematic violence and hate crimes against Muslims in India”, shows the agenda.

The Troika Plus comprising Pakistan, China, Russia and the US in their meeting held in Islamabad on Nov 11 had called on the Taliban to take steps to form an inclusive and representative government in Afghanistan.

The Troika Plus had stressed that the representative government should protect the rights of all Afghans and provide equal opportunities to women and girls to participate in all aspects of Afghan society.

It had recalled relevant Afghan-related UNSC resolutions, including respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan that is free of terrorism and drug-related crimes, and that contributes to regional stability and connectivity.

The forum had agreed to continue practical engagement with the Taliban to encourage the implementation of moderate and prudent policies that could help achieve a stable and prosperous Afghanistan as soon as possible.

The participants had expressed concern over the severe humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan and reiterated unwavering support for the people of Afghanistan.

The participants had also reaffirmed their expectation that the Taliban will fulfil their commitment to prevent use of Afghan territory by terrorists against its neighbours, other countries in the region and the rest of the world.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2021

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