ISLAMABAD - After criticism from certain quarters that the PML-N led government lacked interest in developing a consensus about a national counter terrorism policy, the government has decided to call an all parties conference (APC) on September 9.

Soon after the formation of government after PML-N’s victory in May 11 general elections, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had announced that the government would soon call an APC to seek suggestion from representatives of all the all parliamentary parties for developing a consensual national security policy.

The government sources said that the APC would meet at the Prime Minister House this Monday at 11am where all the parliamentary parties represented in the parliament would participate to decide the future course of action of the government to bring peace in the country.

The interior ministry sources said that Interior Minister Ch Nisar had contacted a number of heads of different parties on telephone to ensure their participation in the APC. Among those contacted were Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan; Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Fazalur Rehman; Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Amir Syed Munawar Hassan and others, the sources added.

The minister also contacted Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly and senior PPP leader Syed Khurshid Shah, Hasil Bazenjo of Balochistan National Party, Farooq Sattar of MQM, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and PML-F Secretary General Imtiaz Sheikh.

PTI spokesperson Dr Shireen Mazari confirmed to The Nation that Nisar called Imran to invite him to the APC and he accepted the invitation. Earlier, the PTI chairman had refused to participate in APC and had sought a meeting with army chief on the issue. But when Nisar contacted Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali, the latter reportedly refused to participate himself and told the minister to contact his party’s senior leader Haji Adeel in this regard.

On the other hand, according to an informed Pakistan Army Brigadier, on the sidelines of National Command Authority (NCA) meeting, Nisar met with Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. The meeting discussed internal security issues and the proposed APC on security, insiders in military said. The army chief also shared military’s input regarding counter insurgency operations in Balochistan and counter terrorism operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where the provincial governments are opposing army operations.

They agreed that all the political forces should be brought on board and a consensus should be developed on either starting dialogue with the militant groups or taking strong action against them. The military has reportedly recommended dealing with an iron hand the troublemakers who are challenging the writ of the state in KP, Balochistan, Fata and other parts of the country.