Long-awaited APC to be held on Monday | Pakistan Today

Long-awaited APC to be held on Monday

The long-awaited All Parties Conference (APC) is being held on Monday at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The event will be attended by the parliamentary leaders of all political parties.
On one hand, Ijazul Haq and Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed have not been invited, on the other hand, Aftab Sherpao, has been invited “due to his political stature and experience to handle counterterrorism”, PML-N sources told Pakistan Today.
Politicians look optimistic about prospects of peace through the moot but political analysts see the APC another repeat of past practices due to divergent views of politicians about the Taliban.
Prior to the APC, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani will hold a meeting with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan to brief him about the government’s future plan of action to handle the affairs of national security, sources added.
The APC participants would be briefed on the government’s proposed draft of the National Security Policy. The meeting will be briefed by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on the security paradigm of the government. While Inter-Services Intelligence Director-General (DG) Lt General Zaheerul Islam and Intelligence Bureau DG Aftab Sultan would brief the lawmakers on their respective input on the security challenges being faced by the country.
Political observers opine that the APC will not be able to achieve unanimity and effectiveness in policy with respect to terrorism and will also not yield better results as was the case of the previous such meetings held during the PPP’s rule. The government had held two such meetings while the JUI-F and the ANP had held separate meetings without any implementation of the recommendations of those meetings.
Defence analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi said that it would be wrong to pin hopes on the APC.
“In my view, this APC would not help reach a unanimous counterterrorism strategy. The meeting might pass a weak resolution against terrorism but it would be without any operational plan. Because the political stakeholders which would leave the government with a face-saving excuse.”
“In my view, there will be no basic shift in the country’s national security policy. So the APC is basically a political move aimed at getting political mileage which will help the government to some extent,” he asserted. He added that the political leadership was scared to oppose the Taliban publicly and that was the main reason for ineffective counterterrorism strategy.
Asked which parties were afraid of Taliban’s wrath, Rizvi said that all religious parties and PTI were sympathetic towards the Taliban. However, he said, following the election win of the PML-N, there was a policy shift in the PML-N’s policy against terrorists due to being in the government. He said the religious parties blame the US for terrorism in Pakistan while the army blames the TTP.
PTI leader Andaleeb Abbas confirmed that Imran Khan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak would meet Kayani and Nawaz prior to the APC.
JUI-F spokesman Jan Achakzai expressed optimism about the APC and said that the government had the support of armed forces and political leadership to resolve the issue.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Fareed Paracha said that unlike other governments, the PML-N government would not have much space to buy time to resolve the issue.
Awami National Party (ANP) spokesman Senator Zahid Khan also looked optimistic about the prospects of the APC, saying that the Taliban had a soft corner for the PML-N, which may help reach peace in across the country.

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