“A joint parliamentary session will take place,” the minister of state for parliamentary affairs said as he responded to the demand of the leaders of opposition parties on the floor of the National Assembly. “I will try that the session is summoned today even if it is at midnight.”
“I have just come from the national security committee meeting and I told the participants that the entire Parliament and nation are united,” he added.
As the National Assembly session resumed today, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Khursheed Shah took to the floor and demanded that a joint parliamentary session be summoned.
“We are in a state of war. The Parliament should sit together and decide,” Shah said. Stating that “India wishes to exploit our internal differences and attack us,” Shah said, “We have to show to India and the world that the entire nation is united.”
Quoting the premier’s televised address to the nation last week, the PPP leader said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan said we will not think if India initiates aggression and we should not even think.”
“The opposition is ready to stand on the border front and Pakistanis are ready to sacrifice their lives,” the PPP leader stated.
Political parties should be united: Kh Asif
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former defence minister Khawaja Asif also took to the floor and seconded Shah’s demand for a joint parliamentary session.
The PML-N leader also called on all parties to “be united” and to show solidarity with the armed forces. “Our country, our sovereignty and our integrity are being threatened,” Asif said.
“It is not the time for political point-scoring and we should put aside our differences and unite the entire nation,” he added. “We are standing behind our armed forces like an iron wall.”
“The entire nation will have to firmly issue a united response to India,” the former defence minister asserted. “We should not hesitate to help Kashmiris.”
‘Pakistan should boycott OIC meeting’
Criticising the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for inviting Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj as a “guest of honour” at the inaugural session of the foreign ministers’ conclave in Abu Dhabi next month, Asif said, “Pakistan should boycott the OIC meeting.”
“It is an insult that our enemy is being invited as a guest of honour when Kashmiris are facing bloodshed,” he stated.
Former NA speaker and PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq also called on the government to raise the issue of inviting Swaraj as “guest of honour” with OIC. “OIC cannot invite anybody to its meetings without consultations with member countries,” Sadiq said.
PPP leader and former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar also slammed the OIC for inviting Swaraj as “guest of honour”. “We have to show the world that this nation knows how to protect itself and the politicians of this nation know how to stand together,” she added.
Asad Mehmood joined the chorus of politicians demanding the boycott of OIC and said, “It is wrong to invite the Indian foreign minister. Pakistan should speak to OIC and boycott the meeting.”