NSC Meets Today as Govt Defiant on Holding Punjab Polls on May 14

Fri Apr 07 2023
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ISLAMABAD: In an apparent bid to seek the backing of the military leadership on delaying the polls for Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies on the pretext of security concerns, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has summoned a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) today (Friday).


The forum will meet amid a rising controversy between the ruling alliance and the top court over the issue of the elections as the ruling alliance is unwilling to hold polls at the time given by the supreme court. The sources said that PM Shehbaz would chair the meeting to be held at the Prime Minister house.


NSC top decision-making body on national security


The committee acts as the principal decision-making body on national security matters. The meeting will be attended by Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, heads of the air force and the navy, and federal ministers for defence, information and finance.


According to the sources, the federal government would again ask the top brass for a briefing on the potential threats from militants in case elections were held for Punjab Assembly on May 14 as per the Supreme Court’s order.


On the other hand, PTI chairman Imran Khan is of the view that the government was attempting to ‘pit armed forces directly’ against judiciary, people.

Local media reported sources saying that the option of imposing an emergency in the country could also be discussed in the meeting in light of the current situation.


The emergency can be declared under Article 232 of the constitution — which pertains to the proclamation of emergency on account of war and internal disturbance — of the Constitution for the maximum period of one year. However, a resolution passed by the parliament is necessary to declare the emergency.


It may be noted that the Shehbaz-led incumbent government had also summoned an National Security Committee meeting in April last year to rebut the ‘foreign conspiracy narrative’ peddled by PTI chairman Imran Khan following his ouster from power as a result of a no-trust vote.

Separately, PTI senior leader Fawad Chaudhry hoped that the NSC would let PM Shehbaz realise that the state institutions were standing tall to protect the Constitution. “The NSC proclamation will decide, which institution is standing with whom,” the PTI spokesperson said.



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