ISLAMABAD - The leadership of the various political parties, representing various shades, will be attending all-party conference here at Prime Minister’s House today [Monday] with the aim to devise a joint strategy for bringing lasting peace to the country and tranquility to the nation.

The moot is primarily meant to approve the blueprint of policy on national security and to seek inputs from all the stakeholders about holding dialogue with Taliban to bring an end to the menace of terrorism and extremism.

There is no specific timeframe for the moot, but it is likely to get underway at around 11 o’ clock in the morning, with the address of the chair – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – followed by a detailed briefing on terrorism, the affected areas and various options to deal with this scourge that has acquired a monstrous dimension, by Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Zaheerul Islam.

Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will be the third keynote speaker. After that the floor would be opened to the political leadership to express their views, float suggestions or put questions to the military leadership about the options to deal with the prevailing lawlessness.

It had already been declared that it would be an in-camera moot and most probably a joint resolution or communiqué would be issued at the conclusion of the all-party conference, a senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader told The Nation.

To a query, he said chances of a press conference about the event were grim and that the decision[s] of the conference would come to the media in the form of hard copy.

Prior to the conference, according to sources in the government, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan may have a meeting with the army chief for an exchange of views on the various issues.

Khan in a chat with newsmen Sunday said his party would be going in the conference with a four-point agenda. He was of the view that dialogue with Taliban was the only solution to peace in the troubled areas.

Although all the major political parties, which are also part of Parliament, were extended invitation to APC, some parties having one-man representation in the National Assembly were left out. This has not only disappointed but also annoyed them.

Former ruling party, Pakistan People's Party, will be attending the moot, but since its top leader Makhdoom Amin Faheem was ignored there have been concerns within party folds. But Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rasheed said the complaint of Faheem was unjustified. He said only parliamentary leaders had been invited to APC, so PPP’s parliamentary leader Khursheed Shah had been invited to the conference.

Not surprisingly, Awami Muslim League head Sheikh Rasheed and Pakistan Muslim League-Zia chief Ejazul Haq were not invited to the event. They are learnt to have voiced annoyance over it. Sheikh Rasheed said they were invited to all the previous ACPs but now when they were even part of Parliament, ignoring his party was beyond their comprehension. He said it seemed the government had a little interest in resolving the problem. He termed the whole exercise of moot eyewash, and said it was meant to tame Imran Khan who had been slamming the government over the issue.

Rasheed said he was dropped out on the plea that he was the sole representative of the party in Parliament, but at the same time the heads of other groups that had one-man representation, such as Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Mahmood Khan Achakzai and Awami National Party, were extended the invitation.

Prominent among those attending the conference are Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Haji Adeel of Awami National Party, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao of Qaumi Watan Party, Akhtar Mengal and representatives from FATA. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shaukatullah would be attending the conference on special invitation from the prime minister.

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain will also attend the APC and has postponed his scheduled visit to Kabul.  Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, while talking to media, said the APC was being convened on the national agenda and participation of the entire political leadership was mandatory.

"If someone does not attend APC, he/she will stay aloof from the national cause. I daresay no one can afford it," added the minister.

The government was previously expected to hold APC on July 12. However, it was delayed as the government wanted to hold more consultations to make the event successful. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan talked to senior political leaders over phone and extended the invitations.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan burnt the proverbial midnight oil to prepare the draft of the national security policy on the basis of briefings by his security and intelligence chiefs. He also held several meetings with the prime minister to seek his guidance in the preparation of the blueprint. It will be the first national security policy to deal with the law and order and other related issues and the PML-N led government is keen that it was evolved with consensus so that there was no raising of eyebrows by any party.

The APC will also discuss whether the government should opt for talks with the Taliban. A comprehensive debate is expected over the question of dialogue with the Taliban and the option of targeted operation in Karachi.

The government has arranged comprehensive briefings by the ISI, Intelligence Bureau and other security agencies for the participants, so that they are apprised about the grave security scenario Pakistan is in and the stringent measures needed across the board to restore stability and order.

According to sources, the government has asked the security and secret agencies to brief the participants without hesitation and nothing should be hidden from them as to what was happening and who were behind the acts of terrorism, extortion and target killings. After the briefing, a question-answer session will be held to enable the leadership to have a clear view of the security scenario.