Senators slam government, demand clarity on TTP talks

(L to R) Law Minister Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, and PPP Senator Raza Rabbani speak on the Senate floor in Islamabad on June 23, 2022. – YouTube/PTVParliament

ISLAMABAD: Members of the Upper House of Parliament criticized the government for talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and demanded clarity in this regard.

Institutions that ignore the country’s national security informed a day earlier of an important meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, in which high-level political leadership was present.

After the meeting, the PM’s office said that all talks with the TTP would be in accordance with the Constitution and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah assured that a closed-door session of Parliament would be convened to take MPs into confidence regarding decisions related to national security. Will go ,

In today’s session of the Senate, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed said that a session on talks with TTP took place yesterday in PM’s office in which representatives of some political parties were present but not all were invited.

“Decisions related to talks with TTP were taken in this session. So, there should be clarity and the House should be informed as to which committee’s session it was?” Senator Ahmed inquired.

The senator said that if the session belonged to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), he is a member and was not invited to the meeting.

“Was it a session of the Parliamentary Committee? If not, where does Parliament stand in this matter? The JI Senator thought.

Senator Ahmed said the government has said it will inform parliament about the talks. “What use will it be once [state] Finalize it yourself?”

The senator rebuked the government and asked whether Parliament was merely a “rubber stamp”.


For his part, PPP senator Raza Rabbani, whose party is a major stakeholder in the coalition government, said parliament “has always been used as a rubber stamp”.

“If the government finalizes it, there will be no use of presenting the TTP agreement before Parliament as the agreement cannot be amended later,” the former Senate president said.

Rabbani said an in-camera session of Parliament should be called to inform MPs about the terms and conditions of talks with the TTP.

“I’m surprised we can talk to TTP, but production orders are yet to be issued despite several requests from Member of Parliament Ali Wazir,” Rabbani said.

incorporation of parliament

In response, Azam Nazir Tarar, who is the Law Minister and a member of the PML-N, which is the government’s biggest stakeholder, said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has made it clear that the talks will be in accordance with the Constitution.

“Talks with TTP will be done in consultation with Parliament and Parliament will be a part of it,” he said.

Speaking on the floor of the House, PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui said that the talks with the TTP did not start two-and-a-half months ago, but started during the tenure of the previous government.

The senator said lawmakers were unaware of when the talks began and who they were between.

He said, ‘Are talks taking place elsewhere or within the country? We didn’t even know it, but the details are slowly being revealed now. ,

“The talks should not be kept secret as we are not in favor of it. This is not our policy,” he said.