Pak's military reps to attend all party meet on ties with US

Pak's military reps to attend all party meet on ties with US

Leaders of all political parties, including those not represented in parliament, and heads of religious groups have been invited for the crucial meeting, official sources said today.
Top officials, including representatives of the military and intelligence agencies, too will attend the meeting, the sources said.

"The meeting will discuss Pakistan-US ties and chart a future course of action," a source in the government said.

Gilani yesterday contacted leaders of different political parties to develop consensus on tackling tensions with the US triggered by accusations by American officials that the military-run ISI had backed the Haqqani network in carrying out a string of attacks in Afghanistan, including one on the US Embassy in Kabul.

The premier has held consultations with, among others, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Altaf Hussain, Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Jamaat-e-Islami head Munawar Hassan.

Gilani also consulted religious leaders like Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair, president of Jamiat Ulema Pakistan, Pir Fazal-e-Haq of Jummiat-e-Mashaykh Pakistan and Sahibzada Fazal Kareem, chief of the Sunni Ittehad Council.

The political and religious leadership have backed Gilani's initiative to hold a meeting of political parties to take stock of the security situation.

Gilani also contacted ruling Pakistan People's Party chief and President Asif Ali Zardari, "who is on board", an official statement said.

Gilani has convened similar meetings to forge consensus when Pakistan faced crises in the past too.

A meeting of all political parties was held when tensions with India spiked in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks while another was held before the government ordered the military to flush out Taliban fighters from the Swat valley in 2009.