Islamabad, Oct 8 : Pakistan politicians, including MPs, chief ministers of four provinces, party chiefs, and president and chief minister of PoK will today receive a briefing from militarymen about the growing influence of terrorism, particularly of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, in the country.
The in-camera sitting has been arranged by the country's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in response to consistent opposition criticism of the six-month-old elected government's handling of the conflict.
The briefing, to be made at the joint sitting of the two houses of the Pakistan parliament this evening, has not been allowed to be covered by the media. This would be the third such in-camera sitting of the country's parliament, the first held in 1974 and the second in 1988, reported the Dawn.
The sitting is likely to begin at the National Assembly chamber at 5.00 pm, but there was no official word about its duration, though one parliamentary source said that it could last two to three days, added the paper.
According to it, unlike normal parliamentary sessions where issues are debated upon, it will be an Army General who will only brief the politicians and could also answer their questions before a likely rounding up speech by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Director-General of Military Operations, Lt.-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, will brief the sitting about the progress of anti-militant operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and internal threats of terrorism, a military source said.
But, political sources said the parliament members would like to be told about how the militants sympathetic to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and Afghanistan's formerly ruling Taliban movement gained sway in most of the FATA's seven administrative agencies in the past few years under the nose of heavy military deployment in the region, how they turned the country's tourist paradise of Swat into killing fields, and even spread terror in cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Lahore through their devastating suicide bombings, and who provides them the sinews to confront what claims to be one the world's best fighting machines.
There may also be queries about the Dec 27, 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a suicide attack blamed on the now banned Pakistani chapter of Taliban and the possible whereabouts of bin Laden, his top associates and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar since Pakistani intelligence ostensibly lost track of them after the October 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks on the US.