Parliament’s NSC to meet with defence officials next week

The Parliamentary Committee on National Security was briefed on Thursday regarding the ongoing diplomatic friction between Pakistan and the US. Members of political parties expressed unity on national security while deciding on a second meeting which would be briefed by officials from defence institutions.
The row stems from US President Donald Trump’s New Year Eve tweet in which he said the US had foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years. “They have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking our leaders as fools,” Trump had stated.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif briefed members of the committee.
Sources added that during his briefing, the foreign minister said Trump is talking in the language of India, adding that Pakistan’s security forces have given tremendous sacrifices in the war against terrorism and that there will not be any compromise on our dignity.
In his briefing, Asif said the US is making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failure in winning the war in Afghanistan.
The minister also stated that the country’s civil and military leadership is on the same page over the issue.
He added that the US statements on Pakistan are contrary to the facts.
According to sources, the committee’s participants dismissed calls for summoning a joint session of parliament to discuss the issue.
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, who heads the body, told the media after the meeting that the parliamentary body concluded that the reasons behind such statements from the US need to be reviewed.
He added that a balanced response, wherein the country’s dignity is maintained, is needed while engaging with the US.
The NA speaker said the committee’s members tried to understand the situation, its recent background and future strategy.
Sadiq said the most important thing out of the meeting was the unity of all political parties on the issue.
The committee has decided to reconvene again next week, likely on January 11 or 12, and be briefed by members of the defence institutions, Sadiq informed further.
“Everyone wanted a follow-up meeting to chalk out the plan to counter any eventuality,” he explained.
The government aimed to take parliamentary leaders into confidence over Pakistan’s response to the crisis by taking their input on the issue.
After a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) and the federal cabinet earlier this week, today’s gathering was the third high-level forum to discuss the issue.