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Pak lawmakers reject ISI HQ as Parl meeting venue

world Updated: Dec 29, 2011 14:02 IST

PTI
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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.