Islamabad, Jul 1 (PTI) Pakistan's top military command on Thursday briefed lawmakers on the developments in Afghanistan, besides the internal and external security situation, and the challenges faced by the country due to the evolving nature of developments in the region.
Briefing the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, chief of powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed also said that Pakistan would continue to play its responsible role for a lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan.
Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chief ministers of all provinces and other top officials were also present at the in-camera briefing.
According to an official statement issued after the briefing, the participants were told that Pakistan would welcome a truly representative government of Afghans and that it would continue its responsible role for peace in Afghanistan.
'Pakistan's territory is not being used in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and we hope that Afghanistan's land is also not used against Pakistan,' the ISI chief said.
He said that Pakistan played a “highly positive and responsible role” in the Afghan peace process. 'Pakistan's efforts paved the way for dialogue between Afghan factions and warring groups,' he said, adding that due to Islamabad's efforts, meaningful talks were held between the US and the Taliban.
He said that 90 per cent fencing of the Pak-Afghan border had been completed, while an effective system of customs and border control was also being set up.
The briefing was followed by a question and answer session where the army top command responded to various queries by the lawmakers.
The political and parliamentary leadership expressed satisfaction over the briefing, according to the statement.
Talking to the media, Shehbaz Sharif said he was satisfied by the briefing but refused to share details.
Responding to a question on whether Gen Bajwa answered questions asked during the meeting, he said: 'Yes, he did.' The meeting was attended by the 29 members of the committee, besides some 16 legislators had been specially invited to the meeting.
Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser, who is chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, presided over the meeting held in the parliament house.
Since it was a closed-door meeting, only selective details were shared with the media. PTI SH ZH ZH