Govt, opposition face-off over PM Imran’s absence from key security briefing

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ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan’s absence from a top-level military briefing to lawmakers has ensued a blame game between the government and the opposition.

After a number of politicians questioned the absence of the premier from the high-level meeting which was also attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and DG ISI Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif was responsible for it.

He revealed that the PML-N President had conveyed to NA Speaker Asad Qasier that they would not attend the briefing it was attended by Imran Khan.

The allegation invited a stern response from the PML-N, rejecting it as baseless. Marriyum Aurangzaib in a tweet said that the information minister was spitting lies.

Sharing a notice of the meeting, she said that Imran Khan was not part of the meeting, adding that the NA Speaker had called the meeting and how could Shehbaz bar the premier.

He urged the minister to bring forth evidence that Shehbaz had conveyed any message to the speaker.

Military Briefing

Pakistan will continue to play its role for durable peace in Afghanistan and welcome the government there which will be a true representatives of the Afghan people, the country’s security apparatus told lawmakers.

Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed gave a briefing on the Afghan issue and other security matters to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security during an in-camera session which was also attended by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The participants were told that Pakistan had honestly played a positive and responsible role in the Afghan peace process, according to a press release by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

“Due to Pakistan’s efforts, not only was the path paved for talks between different Afghan factions and warring groups, but meaningful dialogue between the United States and Taliban was also started,” the lawmakers were told.

“We believe in the fact that lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan will actually result in stability in South Asia,” read the press release.

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