ISLAMABAD - Contrary to the widely-held belief that Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in his meeting with Imran Khan had asked the latter to soften his stance on Pakistan’s decision to join Saudi-led 39-nation military alliance, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is still determined to raise this issue in the parliament.

The PTI is also expected to raise the issue of government’s permission to allow Gen Raheel Sharif to lead the alliance.

Soon after the public announcement of the Foreign Office that Pakistan was part of the Saudi-led Islamic military alliance, the PTI had said that it would raise the issue in the parliament as the decision undermined a unanimous resolution of the parliament.

However, Imran’s March 31 hour-long one-on-one meeting with the chief of the army staff (COAS) gave rise to the general belief that the PTI perhaps would change its stance on the issue.

A tweet of the Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), after the meeting, said that the PTI chairman called on the COAS, felicitated him on his promotion and appointment and various issues came under discussion.

PTI MNA Asad Umar, who is part of the four-member parliamentary committee of the PTI to decide about the parliamentary instrument on the issue, said that the PTI had decided to raise the issue through a new parliamentary resolution.

“We will move a resolution in the up-coming session of the National Assembly asking for initiation of a debate on the decision of the government to become part of the alliance,” he said, adding that this decision could not be taken through an executive order.

The government should bring all the details on the floor of the house and the parliament should decide the matter.

However, Umar said that the decision to become part of the alliance was a little different from the April 2015 unanimous resolution of the parliament as it was about Yemen. That resolution had asked the government not to become part of any alliance against Yemen. And the 39-nation alliance is not against Yemen, he said.

Responding to a question whether the COAS had conveyed his concerns to Imran over his party’s stance on the issue, Umar said that he was not aware of the decision.

But keep in mind that party chairman in his Chakwal rally soon after the meeting with the COAS had clearly opposed the decision to become part of the alliance.

Another senior party office-bearer only commented that the COAS had assured the party chief that this alliance was neither against Iran nor it would harm interests of the neighbouring Islamic country.

Lt General (r) Amjad Sohaib on Monday, while speaking at a group discussion on “Implementation of NAP” was also of the view that the Saudi-led military alliance would not harm the interests of Iran.

He said that the decision of becoming part of any alliance was not violation of April 2015 unanimous resolution as it was regarding Yemen. Sohaib said that Parliament should ask the government about the details of the decision.

The PTI had recently formed a four-member parliamentary committee including its MNAs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Dr Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar to decide about the parliamentary instrument to raise the issue.