ISLAMABAD - Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) could not make any progress on redrafting of the recommendations here on Monday due to boycott of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to record its concern over the exorbitant increase in the prices of petroleum products and CNG.

The committee meeting held here under the chair of Senator Mian Raza Rabbani but after a brief session it was adjourned to meet again on Tuesday (today) at 11.00am to accomplish the task of redrafting the recommendations for foreign policy revisit. Sources aware of behind the scene activities informed TheNation that Senator Mian Raza Rabbani had himself requested Senator Ishaq Dar and Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Abbassi of PML-N to end the boycott but they did not oblige. Sources in the PML-N said that their members would not attend the meeting even on Tuesday to protest the unjust increase in prices of the petroleum products and CNG. They demanded immediate withdrawal of the hike and in case the government would not come up with the reversal of the prices they would continue their protest. These sources said that PML-N members were unlikely to attend the meeting on Tuesday (today) putting the whole process in disarray and the whole exercise of deliberation on the recommendations of the committee in the joint sitting of the Parliament on April 5 would likely be jeopardized.

Talking to media after the meeting, which remained in session for a brief period, chairman of the committee Senator Raza Rabbani said the committee continued its work on sprucing up the already drafted recommendations for the foreign policy review and expressed his optimism that finally they would come up with unanimously adopted draft. To a question he said he had already requested the PML-N members of the committee to end their boycott of the committee proceedings, as PCNS was not a government entity and representing whole of the Parliament.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Ch Nisar Ali Khan had announced boycott of the PCNS meeting on Monday to record PML-N’s protest over the whopping increase in prices of the petroleum products and CNG, which was not at all acceptable to them.

To a question, Rabbani said some of the committee members had raised objections over some clauses of the recommendations. Some of the clauses were omitted from the draft with consensus while the rest would be reshaped to the satisfaction of the members of the committee. To another question, Rabbani said he was not aware of the meetings between the American and Pakistani military leadership and their agendas, so he was not in a position to comment on it.  Sources in the JUI-F informed TheNation that they would not let the government use the platform of the Parliament to fig-leaf their follies and further their designs and made it clear that their party would oppose the passage of any resolution suggesting reopening of the Nato supplies routes tooth and nail if tabled before the Parliament for approval.

Talking to mediamen after the meeting PML-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that all institutions including this committee should be strengthened, in order to help them play their due part in progress and development of the Federation.