ISLAMABAD - Members of all parties in yesterday’s Joint Session of Parliament stressed the need for enhanced diplomatic efforts for pressing the world to address the Kashmir problem and said the entire nation was united in face of the threats to the motherland.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly yesterday criticised Nawaz government’s foreign policy, saying the things on this front were better managed during Pakistan Peoples’ Party rule.

The joint session was summoned to discuss Kashmir issue, especially the human rights violation in occupied Kashmir, and situation arising out of Indian ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (the third main opposition party) and AML chief Sheikh Rashid did not participate in the joint sitting. The issue of PTI’s boycott was only slightly touched by a PPP senator who was the last one to deliver speech.

Only 35 lawmakers from both sides were left in the house in the last hour of the 4-hour session.

The house echoed with ‘Jiay Bhutto’ and ‘Jiay Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’ when PPP Chairman Bilawal entered in the house around five minutes before the start of the session to observe the proceedings. He was also welcomed by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

Taking part in the discussion, Khursheed Shah said that the entire nation was united and firmly standing with the Kashmiris in their “just struggle for the right to self-determination.”

He said UN should break its silence in holding plebiscite in Kashmir according to its charter and in light of the resolutions passed by the Security Council.

Shah said Islamic countries should also be sensitised over the issue, and the UN should solve the Kashmir issue on the pattern of East Timor.

The PPP leader stressed the need for mobilising diplomatic corps to highlight Kashmir issue on the international level. He said the time has come when we should take bold decisions.

He said India wanted to isolate Pakistan in the world and it was using different tactics to this end. News Delhi’s refusal to participate in Saarc summit was a glaring example of it.

Terming it a weakness of foreign policy of the incumbent government, he said PPP’s government in its era had tackled the foreign policy issues in a better manner.

“The prime minister should have mentioned Indian Spy Kulbushan Yadev in his speech and Indian involvement in Balochistan area,” he said and drew some laughs from lawmakers when he accidentally said called the Indian spy "Kulbushan Wani", mixing his name with the name of martyred Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Wani.

He in a light way criticised government for handing over all foreign office related responsibilities to two persons – Tariq Fatmi and Satrtaj Aziz. “It is not clear who among both of them (Fatmi and Aziz) is dealing with what matters in the foreign office,” he said, stirring laughter even among treasury benches.

The house also witnessed an interesting situation when Shah asked the Chair that he was facing a bit difficulty for carrying papers he was reading from in his hands. “The prime minister used a dice for carrying documents but I have to hold mine in hands,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif, during the speech of Shah, offered him to come on his side to deliver the speech. “In front of my leader (Bilwal) you are offering me to go there (switch the sides),” he jokingly said.

JI chief Sirajul Haq called for formulating a state policy on Kashmir. He said for the time being, there was no state policy on Kashmir despite the fact that India was killing and maiming freedom loving innocent and unarmed Kashmiri people.

MQM parliamentary leader Farooq Sattar said Indian aggression could be dangerous for the whole world. “Foreign Affairs ministry could not properly convey its message to the world,” he said. He said that there was a need to form a parliamentary security committee to watch these matters.

Taking part in debate, JUI-F chief and Kashmir Committee Chairman Fazlur Rahman stressed the need to shake the United Nations and its Security Council on the issue of Kashmir. “If anyone is ready for mediation then we (Pakistan) should also be ready for it. We should also give our argument on it,” he said.

Fazl blamed both India and the US for sabotaging CPEC project. He also questioned India's attempts to secure condemnations over the attack on Uri base. "We are asked to condemn the Uri attack, but what about those innocent and helpless Kashmiris who are being subjected to Indian brutality?” he asked.

PPP Senator Saeed Ghani, on his turn, said this joint session should have been summoned earlier. He also slightly criticised PTI for not taking part in joint session. “It may give a message of division on an important national cause,” he added.

The joint session will continue today as many of lawmakers want to speak on the matters in question. The house today at the end of session will also pass a resolution.