Pak opposition terms
Moeed as showpiece,
will boycott briefing

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ISLAMABAD: All opposition parties have decided to boycott the upcoming in-camera briefing of the national security committee to be held on Monday (December 6), citing the government’s “dictatorial” behaviour as its reason.

A press release by Parliament’s united Opposition stated that parties that are part of the anti-government alliance have always treated issues involving the Constitution, law, national security and general public with seriousness and attached importance to them.

According to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb, the decision has been made by the opposition parties after mutual consultations.

The media release said that not only did the Opposition parties and their leaders attend briefings on these issues, despite the absence of the prime minister, but also provided recommendations to solve the issues.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, Ms Aurangzeb said that the joint opposition had made the decision to boycott the in-camera meeting of the PCNS due to the government’s attitude of bulldozing important draft bills in the recently-held joint sitting of parliament and its “persistent authoritarian approach” on important constitutional, legal, national and security issues.

QUETTA: The employees of Metropolitan Corporation Quetta demonstrating to meet their demands including payments of their wages and other basic rights and amenities.

She said the united opposition had informed the government about the decision.

The joint opposition stated that the opposition parties had always shown very responsible and serious attitude on all issues relating to the Constitution, national security and public importance.

The Opposition’s statement said that the government’s dictatorial attitude and their recent move to bulldoze important bills in Parliament prompted it to boycott the in-camera briefing session.

The press release stated that it was disappointing that the government was making Parliament a rubber-stamp institution with its recent actions. The Opposition accused the government of not raising important issues related to external and internal threats and those concerning the common man, adding that it was tackling vital issues through such in-camera briefings.

“In reality, it is the government that has practically boycotted Parliament, which is a Constitutional and legal forum of the public,” said the Opposition’s statement.

The Opposition said that the prime minister had not attended Parliamentary briefings and sessions, giving an example of a session on occupied Kashmir. The statement added that it indicates how the prime minister does not believe in the democratic spirit of consultation and the importance of tolerating differing opinions.

PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb

It said that in such circumstances, attending the in-camera briefing session would help the government stage another drama that has nothing to do with the critical issues facing the country.

Taking aim at National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf, the Opposition stated that it believed Yusuf is deprived of the relevant authority that his position commands, adding that he is a mere “showpiece”.

The Opposition includes the PML-N, PPP, JUI-F, PK-MAP, JI, ANP, BNP-Mengal, Qaumi Watan, NP and Mohsin Dawar.

Parliamentary committee

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser had earlier summoned a meeting of the national security committee on December 6 to discuss important issues related to the country. NSA Moeed Yusuf will brief lawmakers on national security and other issues during the meeting.

The National Assembly Secretariat sent invitations to leaders of all parliamentary parties in both Houses of the Senate, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, opposition leader in the Senate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem, Maulana Asad Mehmood of the JUI-F, Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema of PML-Q, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of the MQM-Pakistan, Khalid Magsi of BAP, Ghuos Buksh Mehar from GDA, Amir Haider Khan of the ANP, Sheikh Rasheed of Awami Muslim League, BNP chief Akhtar Mengal, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti of JWP, parliamentary leader of the PPP in Senate Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Azam Tarar of PML-N and senators Anwarul Haq Kakar, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor, Faisal Ali Sabzwari, Tahir Bizanjo, Hidayatullah Khan, Shafiq Tareen, Kamil Ali Agha, Mushtaq Ahmed, Muzafar Hussain, Muhammad Qasim and Dilawar Khan.

The CMs of the entire provinces, President and Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir as well as Gilgit-Baltistan CM were also invited to the meeting as special invitees.

Federal ministers, including Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, Shafqat Mehmood, Ali Amin Gandapur, Asad Umar, Syed Fakhar Imam, Hammad Azhar, Dr Shireen Mazari and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, Adviser to PM on Finance Shaukat Tarin as well secretaries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, interior, defense, finance, Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan and national security will be special invitees.

The last PCNS meeting was held on November 8, in which the parliamentary leaders were briefed on the government-TTP talks.