The country’s top security officials including ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed on Thursday briefed parliamentarians on matters related to the Kashmir dispute, the Afghan peace process and other crucial issues.
A meeting of the parliamentary committee on National Security is currently underway at the Parliament House in Islamabad with Speaker Asad Qaiser in chair, according to a statement issued by the Information Ministry.
The high-level huddle is being attended by Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and other parliamentary leaders.
The director-general ISI gave a comprehensive briefing to the country’s political and parliamentary leadership on key foreign affairs, internal and external security challenges, developments taking place in the region, particularly the Kashmir issue and the current situation in Afghanistan, the official communiqué read.
The participants were apprised that Pakistan would welcome the true representative government of the Afghan people and would continue to play its positive role in peace efforts in the war-torn country.
The security officials told the meeting that Pakistan’s land is not being used in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. They also expressed hope that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against Pakistan, according to the statement.
The lawmakers expressed satisfaction over the briefing and wished for peace, development and prosperity in Afghanistan.
The opposition members have been complaining that the elected representatives have been kept in the dark about Pakistan’s policy with regard to Afghanistan which faces an uncertain future and is potentially heading towards another civil war. Bilawal during his budget speech raised the issue and demanded a briefing from the relevant authorities on the Afghan situation.
Bilawal, on June 28, took credit for the meeting of the National Security Committee saying he was the one who was seeking this all-important meeting. It is expected that military and intelligence authorities would apprise the committee about the policy being pursued by Pakistan on Afghanistan and the country’s strategy to deal with the negative fallout of unrest in the neighbouring country.
Since the US and Nato forces began their withdrawal on May 1, the Afghan Taliban have made rapid inroads, capturing over 70 districts in 6 months and even stretching their influence to the north which had never been their stronghold in the past.