ISLAMABAD: There are four unelected politicians and 13 top government officials among those who have been invited to attend the meeting of Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on Tuesday (today) for a briefing by the military leadership on the “national security issues”, including talks with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The National Assembly Secretariat has already issued a “notice” and the agenda for the meeting, showing that a total of 125 people have been invited to the meeting to be presided over by NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in his capacity as chairman of the committee.

The list of 62 “special invitees” includes the names of JUI-F head Maulana Fazlur Rehman, JI emir Sirajul Haq, PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai and NP president Dr Abdul Malik Baloch despite the fact that they are not members of parliament and, therefore, are not under any oath.

As many as 108 MNAs and senators have been invited to attend the briefing. The four provincial chief ministers, the president and prime minister of AJK, the GB chief minister and former ambassador Muhammad Sadiq are also among the “special invitees”.

A trio of fathers and sons will also be attending the briefing as besides Maulana Fazl, his son Asad Mehmood is already a member of the committee. Similarly, the meeting will also be attended by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and former president Asif Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who is currently the country’s foreign minister.

During the budget debate, members of the National Assembly had passed a motion on June 20 to allow the speaker to use the assembly hall for the PCNS meeting.

The military leadership headed by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had briefed a special meeting of the parliamentarians at the PM Office on the progress of ongoing talks with the banned TTP.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2022

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