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Banned TTP is Pakistan’s redline, Bilawal tells Afghan Taliban

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  • Pakistan warns Afghan Taliban over TTP attacks.
  • Bilawal says no new agreement with US over terrorism.
  • Slams Imran Khan for creating chaos.

WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Thursday said the Afghan Taliban have been told that the banned TTP is Pakistan’s redline and Islamabad’s relationship with Kabul will be affected if the terrorist outfit is not controlled.

Speaking to the media at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, Bilawal Bhutto said, “We will not ignore if we found out that Taliban are not stopping TTP.”

The rising number of terror incidents has put the security apparatus in the country on alert as the Bannu hostage crisis sent shockwaves across the country. Over 120 policemen were martyred and over 125 others were wounded in different kinds of attacks on the police force in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the current year.

The top Pakistani diplomat is in the US where he held meetings during which he met with the UN chief, chaired a G77 meeting and spoke at Atlantic Council in Washington.

Expressing his concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the country due to rising TTP attacks from Afghan soil, Bilawal said if the Taliban carry out operations against the extremists, Pakistan will provide help if needed.

He said that there was no new agreement on cooperation with the US for anti-terrorism. 

“We urge to release frozen funds for the Afghan people not for the Taliban. They [Taliban] promised with US and the world to take action against extremist groups,” said Bilawal.

In response to a question, the foreign minister said that the building owned by Pakistan in Washington must be sold as the condition of the property is bad. 

“Taxes and other expenses are high on it. But I am not in favour of selling the hotel in New York.”

Bilawal, when asked about elections in Pakistan, said that polls will be held on time and Imran Khan wants early elections to get help in the rigging.

The foreign minister said that institutions confined themselves to their constitutional roles, but some politicians are spreading hatred and giving the perception of enmity to political differences.

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On April 16, President Zardari will speak to the joint session of parliament.

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As to the press statement from the President’s House, the joint session of parliament is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 16, at 1600 hours.

In accordance with Article 56(3) of the Constitution, which states that the President “shall address both Houses assembled together and inform the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) of the causes of its summons” at the beginning of the first session following each general election to the National Assembly and at the beginning of the first session of each year,” he would address the joint session.

By virtue of the authority granted by Articles 54 (1) and 56 (3) of the Constitution, President Zardari called a joint session of the legislature.

It is important to note that National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq chaired the previous joint session of Parliament, which was called on March 9th in preparation for the presidential elections.

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Elections

The PPP seeks assistance from political parties in the election of the Senate chairman.

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The PPP special committee members have contacted other political parties in an attempt to get votes for Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, the party’s nominee for the Senate majority.

In order to create a plan for the chairman’s election, Senator Sherry Rehman and Naveed Qamar reached out to former PM Gillani.
According to Sherry Rehman, Yousaf Raza Gillani has a resounding majority in the Senate, and the PPP, together with its allies, will demonstrate its dominance in the chamber tomorrow (Tuesday).

It should be noted that tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., President Asif Ali Zardari will convene the Senate.

In addition to the newly elected senators taking an oath during the Senate session, the election of the chairman and deputy chairman will also take place on the same day.

On Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recommendation, the president had previously signed a summary designating Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar as the presiding officer of the senate session.

37 candidates who were selected to fill Senate seats in the most recent election were notified by the election commission.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s eleven Senate seats are still up for election.

Analysts stated that the election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the process because there are just 11 lawmakers holding KP seats.

There is currently no election calendar for the 11 open KP Senate seats.

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Elections

Core Committee: PTI to abstain from Senate Chairman and Dy Chairman elections

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It has also been determined by the party to file a legal challenge against the election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman.

According to PTI core committee sources, the election was unlawful because the home was not completed. According to insiders, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s election was unconstitutional because senators were not elected.”

In the absence of the chairman, PTI sources claimed, “the house has been dysfunctional.” Except in administrative matters, the Senate Secretariat was unable to make decisions.

The sources stated that under pressure, “the Secretary Senate could not himself interpret the constitution.”

“Without the Senate Chairman, the upper chamber has merely functioned as a department,” the sources stated, calling for constitutional violations against individuals responsible for the dysfunction of the Senate.

Sources continued, “It is the first time the Senate has been rendered inoperative in the nation’s democratic history.”

A petition was previously submitted with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which is supported by the Pakistan Terrorists (PTI), asking for a postponement of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman elections due to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s lack of Senate elections.

In the case where the petitioner asked the ECP to call an early election for the province’s 11 Senate seats, attorney Hamid Khan filed the plea on the SIC’s behalf.

Postponing the April 9 Senate chairman and deputy chairman election is recommended by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed SIC, which claims that the Electoral College will be incomplete without the KP Senate poll.

Recall that the opposition members’ application led to the provincial election commissioner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa postponing the Senate elections on April 2.

Because the disagreement over the oath-taking of the opposition members elected to reserved seats in the KP Assembly has not been settled, the opposition members had moved the ECP.

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