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PM’s Absence From Crucial National Security Meeting Shrouded In Controversy

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Prime Minister Imran Khan’s absence from Friday’s crucial meeting of political and military leadership in the parliament where the latter gave briefing on national security is shrouded in controversy. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League – N (PML-N) have blamed each other for the PM’s non-attendance.

Express Tribune quoted a source as saying that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari said in his address during the meeting that the PM’s absence from the important briefing was not a good sign. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser responded to Bilawal Bhutto and said that he should ask Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif as to why the PM was not present.

Earlier, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had suggested during a talk show that Shehbaz Sharif had threatened to stage a walkout in case PM Imran Khan attended the meeting. The PML-N had rubbished the claims, saying that it had no such intention.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly secretariat issued a statement indirectly confirming what the minister had said.

“The prime minister is always willing to attend the meeting of the parliamentary committee and the only reason of his not attending it was reservations conveyed to the assembly secretariat by some opposition leaders,” the statement said, but stopped short of naming said opposition leader.

The prime minister has made no formal statement on the national security meeting so far.

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