ISLAMABAD: The role of intelligence agencies once again marked proceedings of the Lower House of Parliament on Monday with a fiery speech delivered by the opposition leader raising questions on their role in domestic as well as foreign issues and the prime minister responding by offering to sit with the opposition if it had any substantive material in this regard.As the question hour was over and members started raising points of order, opposition leader, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, questioned the mandate of ISI DG for visiting Washington, which he said was raising many questions in the minds. “Whatever the prime minister stated in his last speech in the House was not the exact reply to my questions to inquire about the mandate,” he pointed out and said that the government didn’t come up with a clear statement as what transpired in meetings between the ISI DG and the American officials in Washington.Nisar said he was well aware of the activities of these intelligence agencies and the games they were playing.
In an apparent reference to a sit-in staged by Imran Khan a day before in Peshawar, he pointed finger at the agencies for pulling the strings of “test-tube” politicians.The opposition leader alleged that funds at the disposal of these agencies were being used to prop up the “test-tube” politicians. He disclosed that even some agencies’ personnel had contacted the PML-N members, but he categorically stated that his party would not be a part of any game to destabilise the democratic setup.He offered to divulge the details of all such activities of these agencies, if any one had any doubt about it.Referring to his meeting with Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kiani, which triggered strong criticism across the country, Chaudhry Nisar clarified that whatever was discussed was purely related to strengthening the democratic setup and that he clearly told the army chief that PML-N didn’t want any role of the armed forces in the national politics.
“Why, those who are raising hue and cry on this issue, do not dare to ask as to what I discussed with the army chief,” the opposition leader stated in a veiled reference to criticism poured on him from different quarters.He called upon the government to make all agencies bound to work within the constitutional parameters.Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, while responding to the issues raised by the opposition leader, said that ISI DG’s visit to US was not something new as it was part of the strategic relationship between Pakistan and the US.“A series of visits take place being part of the strategic partnership dialogue between the two countries,” he said, adding, “The ISI chief’s visit will be followed by visits by the defence secretary and foreign secretary as part of this bilateral strategic partnership.” He showed his willingness to address the concerns of the opposition leader vis-a-vis secret agencies if he had substantive proof about it.About the sit-in staged by Imran Khan, Gilani said that the government was not threatened by any sit-in and whoever supported it. “There is no threat of any kind because this government and parliament has the people’s mandate,” he declared. – Dailytimes