9 Oct 2008

Security briefing for Pakistan MPs

7:23 am on 9 October 2008

Parliament in Pakistan is receiving a rare briefing by the military on the security situation. The session is being held "in-camera".

The BBC reports the Senate and the National Assembly will be told why efforts to contain Islamic militancy have failed so far.

The meeting will also try to establish a national consensus on how to counter the Taliban.

Attacks targeting Pakistani leaders have increased as the army continues operations against the Taliban in tribal regions near the Afghan border.

On Wednesday the former director general of military operations and the chief of Pakistan's intelligence service, Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, conducted the briefing.

It will be followed by a question-and-answer session on Thursday.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is expected to deliver a summing-up speech at the end.

More than 15 politicians, who are not MPs, have also been invited to attend. They include Pakistan Muslim League chief, Nawaz Sharif, and a number of political leaders who boycotted the national elections held in February.


Massive security arrangements are in force around parliament house which has been declared a "red zone".

All roads leading to the parliament building are blocked and the police are checking all vehicles heading towards the house. It is not clear how long the session will last.

Pakistan has seen many deadly attacks by militants in recent months:

Former prime minister and leader of the Pakistan People's Party, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated in December last year.

A suicide truck bomb killed 55 people and destroyed the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on 20 September.

Last week, the residence of Awami National Party leader Asfandyar Wali was attacked in Charsadda.

It is the first briefing by the military in Pakistan's parliamentary history.