The government is considering convening a joint sitting of parliament at the end of the parliamentary year. Afghan situation is expected to be high on the agenda.

It is learnt that the session is likely to be held in the last week of August or the first week of September. After consultation, Prime Minister Imran Khan will be informed about the final decision.

The opposition parties in parliament, expressing serious concerns over the Afghan situation, want to summon the session immediately after Ashura.

They seek a two-day session on the Afghan situation before the presidential address to the joint sitting for formally initiating the fourth parliamentary year of the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Senate Defence Committee has also asked the government to convene a joint session of parliament.

While passing a resolution on Afghanistan, the committee chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, observed that Pakistan’s long-standing stance that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict had been vindicated.

He said the principle of “might is right” was unacceptable and contrary to international law and the UN Charter.

The committee urged the international community, particularly the UN, the OIC, European Union and other international organisations to remain actively engaged in Afghanistan for the promotion of peace and reconciliation as well as the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

Given the rapidly changing scenario in Afghanistan and the region, the committee urged the government to take parliament into confidence by immediately convening a joint session to discuss the situation and propose a way forward so that Pakistan and Afghanistan can be partners in peace and progress.

“The government should take effective measures to prevent regional spoilers, like India, from taking advantage of the situation to the detriment of peace in the region and the security of Pakistan,” the statement quoted Sayed as saying.

In the resolution on Afghanistan, the committee took note of the evolving situation in the neighbouring country and expressed solidarity and support to the people of Afghanistan in their quest for lasting peace.

“Peace, security and stability are inextricably intertwined between Pakistan and Afghanistan and no other country has higher stakes for peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan,” the resolution read.

As an “expression of Muslim brotherhood”, it added, Pakistan continues to be a “model host”, having hosted the largest number of refugees for the longest duration in history.

During the meeting, the committee outlined Pakistan’s interests in Afghanistan and made them a part of the resolution. The resolution read that Pakistan’s interests are consistent and clear, adding that Pakistan has been supporting the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Afghanistan.

Secondly, it said, Pakistan has been promoting a peaceful political transition in Afghanistan through an inclusive broad-based consensus so that a new civil war can be prevented. Thirdly, it continued by stating that Pakistan maintains that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to destabilise any neighbouring country or used as a base for cross-border terrorism against Pakistan.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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