Rabbani, Ahmad refuse to attend briefing at ISI HQ

Raza Rabbani and Khurshid Ahmad told the Standing Committee on Defence that they would not attend the meeting at the spy agency`s headquarters.

Islamabad: Two key Pakistani lawmakers have
refused to attend a briefing arranged for a Parliamentary
panel at the headquarters of the ISI on Thursday.

Raza Rabbani, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan
People`s Party, and Jamaat-e-Islami Vice President Khurshid
Ahmad told the head of the Senate Standing Committee on
Defence and Defence Production that they would not attend the
meeting at the spy agency`s headquarters.

The lawmakers said ISI officials should come to
Parliament House to brief the panel, media reports said.

The Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence
Production is headed by Lt Gen (retired) Javed Ashraf Qazi, a
former ISI chief.

The briefing was organised to inform the panel on the spy
agency`s role in counter-terror operations.

Khurshid Ahmad told Pakistan Today newspaper that he had
written a letter to committee Chairman Qazi conveying his
concerns.

"We respect both the army and the ISI, but it is a matter
of principle. The Parliament is supreme and the ISI officials
should be summoned to the Parliament House to brief members of
the committee," he said.

Rabbani shared the same opinion with Qazi when he
declined to attend the meeting at the ISI headquarters.

This is the first time that a Parliamentary panel is
being briefed on the missions and functions of the ISI.

Similar briefings in the past had focussed on particular
issues.

PTI

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