National Assembly of Pakistan. — AFP

Parliamentary committee on national security allows govt for hold talks with TTP

by Pakistan News
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National Assembly of Pakistan. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on National Security on Tuesday gave formal approval to the government for holding talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) besides forming a parliamentary oversight committee to ensure the process moved within the constitution’s ambit.

During the sixth in-camera session of the PCNS, summoned by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf, it was also highlighted that with the support of the Afghan government, the Government of Pakistan — led by civilian and military officials — is negotiating with the TTP within the framework of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The negotiations are being carried out in order to maintain internal and regional peace. According to the statement issued after the PCNS meeting, the final outcome of the discussion with the banned outfit will be implemented after the completion of the procedure within the limits of the Constitution of Pakistan and the approval of the Government of Pakistan.

In the meeting today, the committee approved the process of negotiation and also agreed to form a parliamentary oversight committee which would be responsible for overseeing the process within Constitutional limits.

The statement further mentioned that the committee reiterated the importance of the dialogue, mentioning that today’s meeting was the “first step in this direction.”

The participants, during the meeting, paid tribute to the sacrifices made by the nation and the security forces.

Details of the meeting

The meeting was being attended by the tri-services chiefs, heads of other security agencies, senior members of the National Assembly and the Senate, members of NA and Senate standing committees on defence, officials of the ministries of defence, foreign affairs, interior, Kashmir affairs, health and federal secretariat of the national security division.

The National Assembly Secretariat had sent a letter inviting 62 members of NA, Senate and PCNS, which comprises 27 members, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, senior parliamentary leaders of both houses, federal ministers, senior political leaders, provincial chief ministers, president and prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan were specially invited to the meeting.

However, former prime minister Imran Khan was not invited to the important PCNS meeting, as he wasn’t a member of the committee and did not accept the position of parliamentary leader of his party either.

Special security arrangements were made on the occasion. In all, 140 members of the two houses were invited to the meeting, including members of the security committee. The NA, through a resolution last month, had already permitted to use of the premises for the meeting.

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