Tuesday Feb 26, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan on Tuesday announced a joint parliamentary session has been summoned in the wake of India's violation of the Line of Control (LoC).
"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.
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."
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."
Agreeing with the opposition’s demand for a joint parliament session, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf politician and former speaker Syed Fakhar Imam Shah said Pakistan has come at a crossroads where it has to decide whether to live with honour or otherwise.
“Today, the future of my country is at stake. Today, the people of Pakistan have to decide to either live with honour, or live otherwise. And I am sure my country will decide to live with honour,” Imam said in his strongly-worded address on the floor of the National Assembly.
“Now the time has come for Pakistan’s survival. This is nobody else’s war. This is Pakistan’s [war],” he said.
The PTI leader noted with regret that India was being led by the war-mongering Narendra Modi.
“India has had some great leaders. But unfortunately, Modi is their leader today,” he lamented, adding that the Hindutva’s mindset was exactly what Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah liberated the Muslims from when he founded Pakistan.
Earlier as the session began, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said, "India just like the past resorted to a cowardly act in the darkness of night but Pakistan Air Force gave a befitting response and forced the Indian aircraft to retreat."
Pakistan is a peace loving country but our desire for peace should not misconstrue as our weakness, the minister of state for parliamentary affairs said.
Indian military aircraft violated the LoC as they "intruded" from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said early Tuesday.
"Indian aircraft intrusion across LoC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJK was 3-4 miles. Under forced hasty withdrawal aircraft released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow," Major General Ghafoor wrote on Twitter.
The incursion into the Pakistani air space follows a series of threats by Indian political and military leadership following the attack on an Indian Army convoy at Pulwama by a local youth, in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.