Opposition boycotts Dec 6 PNSC in-camera briefing

Opposition boycotts Dec 6 PNSC in-camera briefing

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The joint opposition in the parliament on Thursday decided to boycott the in-camera briefing of the Parliamentary National Security Committee (PNSC) convened by the incumbent government. Their decision comes after ‘mutual consultation and deliberation’.
Following their consultation, the opposition has issued a joint statement that stated it had been informed by the government about an in-camera briefing by National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr Moeed Yousuf to the PNSC on December 6.
They maintained that opposition parties had always shown a responsible and serious attitude on all issues of the constitution, law, national security, and public importance, which is why – despite the absence of the leader of the house and his complete detachment from important national and public issues – the opposition parties fully participated in these briefings. The statement highlighted that due to the current government’s attitude of ‘bulldozing’ important bills, as well as its ‘persistently authoritarian and mediocre approach’ to important constitutional, legal, national and security issues, the opposition has decided to boycott the in-camera briefing. The united opposition stated that it contains parties that have a “mature vision, extensive experience and seriousness on critical issues” related to the constitution, the country and the populace. “In the past too, they [the opposition] have always played a historic role in protecting, guarding and promoting the rights and interests of the country and the people,” they maintained. They added that even in the current “contentious” era, the opposition has given priority to the interests of Pakistan and the people. It has played its role in keeping all kinds of political sub-interests and affiliations at bay. They emphasised that it was unfortunate that the current government was adopting the policy of using parliament as a “rubber stamp”. They further stated that important internal and external, national and public issues were not brought forth in the parliament, and were not being debated in the House, which is a “matter of constitution”. Rather the parliament has constantly been ignored and matters are being held through “in-camera briefings”, the joint opposition lamented. According to the united opposition, the ruling PTI has practically boycotted the parliament, which is a “basic constitutional, legal and public forum in a democracy”. The opposition lampooned that the “selected” Prime Minister Imran Khan did not attend meetings on important national issues, including the one on the Indian Illegally-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), because “not only was he ignorant of the democratic spirit of consultation”, but was also “unknowledgeable” about the importance of different views in decision making and the usefulness of opposing views.
They further claimed that the premier was “deprived of the skill and ability” to use “collective wisdom” for the benefit of the country and the people.
They maintained that in such circumstances, an in-camera briefing will merely pave the way for a new government’s “spectacle”, which has nothing to do with the performance regarding serious and critical issues that Pakistan faces or the progress towards their solution.
Furthermore, the joint opposition held that the premier’s NSA was “deprived” of relevant information and authority on decision-making and behind-the-scenes facts, and was merely a showpiece.
They added that Dr Moeed’s objectives had nothing to do with real factors and future blueprints.
“In this context, the united opposition has decided to boycott the briefing,” the statement concluded.