Islamabad, Oct. 25 (ANI): A Pakistani parliamentary panel is set to visit the restive, militancy-hit tribal area of Waziristan- the first visit by an official political delegation - on the invitation of Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
The Senate Standing Committee on Defence, headed by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, will make the trip next month to visit thousands of troops stationed in an area described as the 'frontline against extremism', reports The Express Tribune.
The invitation comes on the heels of a heated political debate on whether the military should undertake another offensive in militancy-hit areas - particularly North Waziristan.
While the government has insisted that an operation, if any, would be a joint decision between the military and the civilian administration, the army has said that it would be the call of the government. The opposition has opposed another military offensive, questioning the efficacy of another crack down, the paper said.
Since Pakistan sent tens of thousands of troops to the tribal areas to flush out militants, non-locals and independent media have very limited access there. The visit by the Senate committee will be the first time the military has allowed a group of parliamentarians to visit the area.
Senator Sayed said that, as part of their work plan, the committee will visit the Air Headquarters in November and then the GHQ in December this year. He is said to have assured Gen. Kayani that the committee would act as a bridge between the army and other quarters. (ANI)