The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry, expressed his regret on the opposition’s decision to boycott the in-camera briefing of the Parliamentary National Security Committee (PNSC). A tweet from the minister’s official Twitter handle deemed the decision unfortunate calling for the opposition to revisit the decision.
The minister further stated that it was the first time in more than seven decades that an elected government had decided to present its security policy in front of the parliament and that this was exclusively a national security matter and should thus be treated as such and not be politicized.
اپوزیشن کا پارلیمان کی قومی سلامتی کمیٹی کی میٹنگ کا بائیکاٹ افسوسناک ہے، سات دہائیوں میں پہلی بار کوئ حکومت اپنی سیکیورٹی پالیسی پارلیمان کو پیش کر رہی ہے یہ سیاسی معاملہ نہیں بلکہ قومی سلامتی کا معاملہ ہے، اپوزیشن اپنے فیصلے پر نظرثانی کرے اور سنجیدگی سے اجلاس میں شرکت کرے
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) December 3, 2021
A Growing Rift
The National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser had earlier summoned the meeting of the national security committee where the National Security Advisor, Moeed Yusuf, is to brief the members on important security issues related to the country.
The opposition boycotted the December 6 meeting on grounds of an alleged dictatorial attitude shown by the government. The rift between the government and the opposition had been consistently growing, culminating in the meeting’s boycott.
A press release by the parliament’s united opposition stated that the government had recently bulldozed important bills displaying a careless approach towards constitutional issues. Also, that the anti-government Pakistan Democratic Movement had always shown its seriousness on matters relating to the sanctity of the constitution and the wellbeing of the general public.
The press release further stated that the opposition parties had actively participated and provided recommendations in such briefings despite the prime minister’s absence. Moreover, stating that it was actually the government that had boycotted the parliament and not the other way around, acting in a manner akin to dictatorships.
The opposition in the press release also accused the government that it had not brought forth parliamentary discussions on critical internal and external issues but instead had resorted to in-camera meetings of such sort.
Going further, the press release mentioned the prime minister’s absence in crucial briefings and sessions, citing the example of the session on occupied Kashmir. Also, raising questions over the role and authority of the National Security Advisor, Moeed Yusuf, calling him a “show piece” who neither had the information nor the authority to take any decisions.
Furthermore, the press release by the opposition claimed that the government was, unfortunately, turning the parliament into a “rubber-stamp” institution with its recent actions, which was unacceptable.
The meeting will go on
Though the opposition has announced a complete boycott of the December 6 meeting. The meeting has yet not been canceled, according to the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry, who has urged the opposition parties to revisit their decision on the boycott.
The National Assembly Secretariat had earlier sent invitations to leaders of all parliamentary parties in both houses of the Senate, the chief ministers of all the provinces, and federal ministers.