Opp decides against attending NAP meeting


ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties on Wednesday announced to boycott the upcoming parliamentary leaders’ meeting called by the federal government over the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, in a letter to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said that the opposition wants the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to give a briefing to all the lawmakers of the house, rather than meeting just selected party leaders.

An invitation was sent by FM Qureshi to all the opposition parliamentary leaders to invite them in a NAP briefing schedule on March 28.

“I would like to invite parliamentary leaders of all the political parties on 28 March 2019 at 1600 hours [in the] Committee Room No 2, Parliament House, to underscore our continued commitment to speedy implementation of NAP. This implementation is clearly in the long-term interest of the people of Pakistan,” Qureshi said in his letter to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif.

FM Qureshi’s letter read that NAP “was a result of a national consensus achieved through consultations with all the political parties of the country”.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari earlier said Pakistan’s position would have been different if the country had carried out the timely implementation of the National Action Plan. “With timely NAP implementation, India wouldn’t have any basis for accusations against Pakistan and Pakistan would have evidence to present about the steps taken by the country against extremism,” Bilawal said in an interview.

Speaking about his party, the PPP chairman said everything was being done against his party and the constitution was not being followed. He said, “From the time of Ayub Khan to the era of Zia-ul-Haq, our political party has heard, that accountability first and then selection. The 90s were all about political engineering.”

PPP’s parliamentary leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman had suggested the government to convene an in-camera joint sitting of the parliament for the briefing on NAP.

It is pertinent to mention here that NAP had been formulated in the aftermath of the tragic 2014 attack on Army Public School in Peshawar.