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Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Talks, development, operation — Pakistan Government spells FATA strategy

* Parliamentary heads convey dissatisfaction over second briefing
* Gilani calls back national security adviser to assist Info minister

By Irfan Ghauri and Muhammad Bilal

ISLAMABAD: The government is following a three-pronged strategy to combat Taliban in FATA – political dialogue, socio-economic uplift and the use of military force, Information Minister Sherry Rehman said on Tuesday.

Sherry was briefing an in-camera joint session of parliament on the government’s war on terror policy, according to sources. The sources said that after the briefing, the political parties’ parliamentary leaders met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the NA speaker’s chamber and conveyed their dissatisfaction over the second briefing arranged by the government.

Summoned: The sources said Gilani has summoned National Security Adviser Mehmood Ali Durrani back from India to assist Sherry during today’s (Wednesday) question-answer session. Sources said the prime minister assured the political parties’ leaders that ministers currently in China with President Asif Zardari would be available from Friday to answer the parliamentarians’ questions.

Sources said Leader of Opposition in the NA Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the House that the government had not touched upon policy matters and was following the previous regime’s policies. The meeting decided to extend the session, earlier scheduled to conclude on Thursday, for another five days.

The opposition parties pressed the government to declare the joint House proceedings as open. NA Speaker adjourned the session abruptly when some of the members wanted to speak after the briefing concluded. It will resume today at 11am. (Daily Times)

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