ISLAMABAD    -     The main opposition parties seem divided on the issue of attending government-proposed consultative session on implementation of National Action Plan (NAP), according to background interactions with different political stakeholders. 

Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the other day (Monday), had written letters to the parliamentary parties’ leaders to engage them in consultations.

A consultative session for implementation on NAP against terrorism with parliamentary parties was proposed on March 28.

The main parliamentary opposition party (PML-N), in response to the invitation letter from government side, proposed briefing be given to the National Assembly.

“Proposed briefing be given to the National Assembly so that the country can benefit from collective wisdom of all parliamentarians instead of selected leaders,” said opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, in a letter to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

The collective opposition believes in inclusive decision –making and promoting a sense of collective ownership of all decisions taken in the national interest, Shehbaz said.

Opposition leader said that the national consensus achieved through an exhaustive parliamentary discussion made it possible for the nation to attain a clear direction in those challenge times. The success of NAP is embedded in Pakistan’s parliamentary traditions and democratic values.

He further said that development of National Action Plan (NA) was a result of the efforts of PML-N government to unite the political leadership of the country in order to fight collectively the scourge of terrorism.

The 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) on counter-terrorism was prepared by the previous PML-N government after the terrorist attack on the Army Public School Peshawar.

The non-implementation on the NAP was much criticised in the previous government era and now concerns have also been raised on the incumbent government for not properly implementing all the points mentioned in the NAP.

The religio-political party –MMA is also proposing to hold the consultative session in the parliament. “Briefing or consultative session on the implementation of NAP should be in parliament,” said JUI-F’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Maulana Abdul Wasay, talking to The Nation. All the lawmakers should be given opportunity to participate in the consultative process, he said.

When contacted, PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar said his party had still not received any invitation letter from PTI government to participate in consultative session on implementation of NAP. “Let the letter come. Party leadership will decide to participate in the consultative meeting of parliamentary leaders,” said Babar.

About the proposal of PML-N for holding the consultative session in National Assembly, PPP spokesman said it was decision of the PML-N. “We will take any decision after receiving letter from government side,” he said.


Govt seems unwilling to call NA session


ISLAMABAD – The government seems unwilling to summon national assembly session in the coming week ostensibly to avoid rumpus from main opposition side over different matters.

The government, in this regard, has recently convinced opposition to withdraw its requisition submitted to summon early national assembly session, background discussions with political parties’ lawmakers revealed.

The opposition, by submitting the requisition, had made an attempt to constitutionally bind the government to summon the national assembly session.

The speaker national assembly is bound to call national assembly session, if the opposition submits requisition in the national assembly secretariat, according to the rules and procedure.

Sources said that the government will avoid calling national assembly session till the second week of April. The government side was earlier interested to call the session on March 22 but later the idea was dropped.

They said the government side would now call the regular session of lower house after seeing the political temperature.

Both the main opposition parties (PML-N and PPP-P are in these days strongly criticizing government on different matters.

PML-N has almost refused to attend consultative session on the implementation of National Action Plan (NAP). Earlier, opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif had proposed to hold discussion on the implementation of National Action Plan in the parliament.

Shahbaz, in his recent tweet, also criticized the government for not allowing him (and family) to meet with his brother (former prime minister Nawaz Sharif) in jail.

Likewise, the second largest opposition party (PPP-P) is also blaming PTI government for politically victimizing them.

Political gurus viewed that the government would call the NA session after holding a consultative meeting on the implementation on NAP. The government will also try to convince all opposition to attend the consultative meeting on NAP to avoid controversy.