ISLAMABAD - The political leadership across the spectrum stood behind the government and Armed Forces of the country and sent a strong message across the border that the Pakistani whole nation was united against the Indian aggression and hostile posture.
The rare consensus among the treasury and opposition parties leaders emerged at the in-camera briefing given to the parliamentary leaders of main parties by the civil and military leadership of the country on the Indian aggression and breach of Pakistan airspace by India and striking down of two India fighter planes Wednesday morning when they again intruded the country’s airspace.
Putting their weight behind the Armed Forces of the country, the leadership of all the opposition parties had reposed full confidence in the capabilities of the Army for defending the motherland and cautioned India to avoid escalating tension and not consider Islamabad’s restraint as its weakness.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the in-camera briefing informed The Nation that from Army side Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor gave a detailed view of the developments from Indian jets crossing into Pakistani territory on wee hours of Tuesday to the shooting down of two fighter jets of India when they intruded again the Pakistani airspace on Wednesday morning.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Secretary Foreign Affairs had given the briefing on the activities and efforts put in by the government on diplomatic front to the participants.
Army Chief General Qamar Javid Bajwa also attended the briefing and ahead of the huddle met Speaker National Assembly Asad Qasir and Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjarani and discussed with him the overall security situation of the country and the Armed Forces preparedness to defend the frontiers of motherland.
The participants of the meeting were also taken into confidence about the decisions taken in the National Command Authority meeting held earlier in the day under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan
From government side, the meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood and some other cabinet members.
PML-N was represented by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, former defence minister Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Raja Mohammad Zafarul Haq and Senator Mushahidullah Khan.
While PPPP was represented by former federal ministers Syed Khursheed Shah, Naveed Qamar, Sherry Rehman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwala, and former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was represented by Aminul Haque and Senator Saif. Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) was represented by Maulana Asad Mehmood, Maulana Wasay, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Maulana Ata-ur-Rehman. Balochistan National Party (BNP) was represented by Agha Hassan Baloch while the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) was represented by Anwarul Haq Kakar and Khalid Magsi. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) was represented by Tariq Bashir Cheema.
In a brief chat with media after the meeting Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the briefing went extremely good and all parliamentary leaders had been taken into confidence by the government regarding the prevailing situation.
He said the parliamentary parties’ leaders had showed complete solidarity with the Armed Forces and government.
Ahead of the in-camera briefing PPP central leader Syed Khursheed Shah said that the PAF had conducted the attack for Pakistan’s own safety and protection. He noted that still government and Armed Forces of Pakistan wanted to avoid aggression and wanted to see the irritants resolved through dialogue.
QURESHI BRIEFS BELGIAN DEPUTY PM
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi telephonically contacted Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders of Belgium and exchanged views on peace situation in the region.
He apprised the Belgium Deputy Prime Minister about the Indian aggressive designs after the Pulwama incident.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said India is jeopardizing regional peace for the political objectives. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly invited India for dialogue for the establishment of peace in the region.
Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister called on Pakistan and India to choose path for peace and resolve all issue through dialogue.
He said Belgium will continue to play its role in establishment of peace and in reducing tension in South Asia.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also telephoned his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir today and apprised him about aggressive Indian designs and precarious security situation in the region.
He said India is bent upon putting peace of the entire region at stake for political purposes.
Foreseeing these threats, he said, Pakistan kept the entire world abreast of its concerns.