ISLAMABAD: An in-camera meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security was held at Parliament House today (Thursday) to discuss several important issues, including the Afghanistan situation. Apart from the internal situation, the in-camera session briefed about the situation in Afghanistan, India and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), said sources. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser had summoned the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to be briefed by Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed. All the major opposition figures were in attendance but Prime Minister Imran Khan chose to stay away. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar are also in attendance. Talking about the prime minister skipping the meeting, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he was representing the premier and stated that he never uttered that the prime minister was participating in the meeting. On the question of PM Imran not attending the meeting, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said it was agreed that the defence and national security committee members would participate in the meeting. He said the leaders of the political parties were asked to choose their members on their own whom they wanted to bring to the parliament for the security briefing. Several political leaders, including Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, JUI-F Parliamentary leader Maulana Asad Mahmood and ANP leader Ameer Haider Azam Khan Hoti had been invited to participate in the parliamentary committee meeting. In addition, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sinjrani, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, Adviser on National Security Moeed Yousaf, all four chief ministers of the provinces and parliamentary leaders of National Assembly and Senate were participating in the meeting. Strict security measures were adopted during the in-camera session. The entry of irrelevant persons in the Parliament House was banned. Big screens in large number were fitted in the assembly hall for the briefing. All galleries of the assembly hall were closed. Mobile phones were also not allowed. Bilawal welcomes briefing Bilawal had announced that he will be attending the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting on Afghanistan after welcoming National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser’s decision to call a meeting of the body. Taking to Twitter on Monday, Bilawal had said that he had demanded in the National Assembly that the Parliament be given a briefing on the situation in Afghanistan by the relevant departments and institutions. “We welcome speaker’s decision and will participate in NSC committee meeting on the topic,” the PPP chairperson had tweeted. Pakistan has, on multiple occasions, raised the issue of peaceful settlement of the Afghan imbroglio and has urged all the groups to sit and sort out their differences.