Senate of Pakistan

Minutes of Meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production

June 4, 2012

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, summoned by the Chairman Senate of Pakistan to elect Committee Chairperson, as contemplated by Rule 184(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012, was held at the Parliament House on 4th June, 2012. The following Members and Officers attended the meeting:-
    1.    Senator Sabir Ali Baloch             Deputy Chairman Senate
    2.    Senator Muhammad Jehangir Bader        Leader of the House
    3.    Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar        Leader of the Opposition
    4.    Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain        
    5.    Senator Col. ® Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi
    6.    Senator Sehar Kamran
    7.    Senator Molana Muhammad Khan Sherani
    8.    Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel
    9.    Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed
    10.    Mr. Iftikharullah Babar            Secretary Senate
    11.    Mr. Amjed Pervez                Special Secretary Senate  

2.    The Secretary Senate and Special Secretary Senate conducted the proceedings prior to the election of the Chairperson. The Committee Members were informed that Chairman of the Committee is elected by the Committee from amongst its Members as stipulated under Rule 175(1). As per the practice, any Member can propose the name of another Member of the Committee for Chairperson while other(s) can second it.

3.    The Leader of the Opposition, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, the Deputy Chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch and Senator Col. (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi proposed the name of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed for the Chairperson of the Committee, whereas, Senator Sehar Kamran, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel and Senator Molana Muhammad Khan Sherani seconded the proposal. Since there was no other candidature, the Secretary Senate declared Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, unanimously elected Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production and invited the newly elected Chairman to preside over the meeting.

4.    Presiding over the meeting, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed thanked all Committee Members for unanimously electing him as Chairperson of the Committee. He said that he was fully conscious of the responsibility assigned to him as Defence Committee has always been very important but due to the current geo-political and security situation in the region as well as the ongoing debate about Civil-Military relations, the task was more challenging. He was confident that with the composition of the Committee, including six major Political Parties and seasoned leaders, he will be able to play the role expected of him as Chair of the Committee.
5.    Briefly mentioning about the priority areas of the Committee work, the Chairman of the Committee mentioned bringing transparency in Defence matters including expenditure and harmony in the Civil-Military relations as a bridge between the Khaki & Mufti. He said that the Committee will serve as the first line of Defense to protect the professional role of the Armed Forces and the security institutions which they are playing
 in accordance with the Constitution.

6.    The Leader of the Opposition, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar said that he had specially come out of the opposition Parliamentary Party’s meeting to propose the name of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed for the Chairperson of the Committee as he was considered the best and ideal person to lead such a sensitive Committee in the difficult security situation confronting the nation. He said that despite mention of correcting Civil-Military relations in the Charter of Democracy and continuously going on heated debate on the subject, the issue still remains unresolved. He expressed the hope that a leader of the stature of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed who has proved successful in various roles and capacities ranging from Editor of a prestigious Newspaper to a Federal Minister, will lead Committee to effectively contribute in resolving the issue.

7.    Senator Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi congratulated Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on behalf of his Party and said that Senator Mushahid was the most suitable Parliamentarian for leading the most important Committee of the Senate in view of the challenges. He said that 99.99% Pakistanis loved their Defence Forces but there was a lot of propaganda and criticism against them. Since they could not defend themselves in this internal and external propaganda war, it was the duty of the Committee to project true image. He said that only a person of the caliber and experience of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed could play effective role in and outside the country and in the media field.

8.    Senator Sabir Ali Baloch, the Deputy Chairman Senate also highly praised the personality and skills of newly elected Chairman. He hoped that while playing role in harmonizing Civil-Military Relations, special emphasis will be given to the situation in the province of Balochistan where the problem was manifesting in dangerous form. Senator Molana Muhammad Khan Sherani congratulated the newly elected Chairman on his own, as well as on behalf of his Party. He said that he was well acquainted with the new Chairman since long and an admirer of his qualification and skills in numerous fields. He however, presented a point of view on war on terror and other issues which was different from the perception and terminology in vogue. He expressed his apprehensions that unless these trends were checked, there was a serious chance of further spread of terror and insurgency.

10.    Senator Sehar Kamran was of the view that contrary to the facts and figures, negative propaganda was going on against the Armed Forces in the matter of budgetary allocation and other areas. She said that while undertaking oversight of the Defence Sector, it was the duty of the Committee to bring the truth and factual position in light. She underlined the importance of bringing the Committee in close contact with the defenders of the country and suggested Fatiha for the Shaheeds of Gayari Sector.
11.    The Chairman of the Committee fully endorsed the aforementioned sentiments and on his request the Committee, led by Molana Muhammad Khan Sherani, offered Fatiha for the Shaheeds of Gayari Sector and other areas. It was decided that the Committee Members will visit some of the bereaved families for condolence and show solidarity with the defenders of the country who were offering greatest sacrifices for the motherland.

12.    Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel highly praised the past performance of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed as Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. He specially mentioned the role of the Senator in preparing a special Report on Balochistan, which he said was a great document containing solution to the burning question of Balochistan. He also underlined the need for focusing on Defence Production by the Committee and especially the poor performance of PIA. The Chairman of the Committee assured that he will pay due attention to the Defence Production to save the scarce foreign exchange resources through import substitution as well as opening of export possibilities for which potential and capacity existed.

13.    The Leader of the House Senator Jehangir Badar shared with the Committee Members his long association with the family of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed especially his father mentioning him as a great mentor. He said that by playing a role in harmonious Civil-Military Relations, the Committee under the leadership of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed would lay the foundation for a strong and stable Pakistan which can help in a successful foreign policy in the face of numerous challenges. Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain expressed the hope that Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed will further add to his success stories as a professional, politician, outspoken Pakistani and Parliamentary Committee Chairperson.

14.    The newly elected Chairman thanked all the Members and the staff for their sentiments and gestures. He said that praise by all of them was a source of encouragement but at the same time a new challenge to raise the bar. He assured that in new role he will continue his policies and practices of transparency, accountability and open and frank discussion on all issues. He said that in the past Committee meetings were gradually opened for media on his initiative and he had new plans for further transparency, outreach and access. He said that transparency, accountability and harmony will remain guiding principles for his work as the Chairman of the Committee.

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