Senate of Pakistan


June 16, 2015

A Fifteen member delegation comprising of senior military officers from various European countries, currently undergoing a course in the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), UK, led by Major General Simon Porter CBE visited the Senate Standing Committee on Defence on 16th June, 2015 at 3:00 pm in the Committee Room No. 4, Parliament House, Islamabad.  

2.    The following members of the Committee attended the meeting:-

  1. Senator Brig. (R) John Kenneth Williams
  2. Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Timrizi
  3. Senator Sehar Kamran 
  4. Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour 
  5. Senator Hidayat ullah Khan 
  6. Senator Atta ur Rehman

3.    The following members of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), UK attended the meeting:-

  1. Major General Simon Porter CBE 
  2. Mr Dmytro Biriukov – Ukraine National Institute for Strategic Studies
  3. Colonel Charles Byaruhanga – Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces 
  4. Colonel Antoine De Loustal – French Army
  5. Mr Manabu Imakyurei – Japanese Ministry of Defence
  6. Mr Neale Jagoe – Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  7. Brigadier General Terje Killi – Royal Norwegian Army
  8. Group Captain Steve Lushington – Royal Air Force
  9. Brigadier General Ayman Matar – Jordanian Army 
  10. Captain Phuthi Mathapo – South African Navy
  11. Captain Dain Morritt – Royal Navy 
  12. Commodore Jon Pentreath OBE – Royal Navy
  13. Colonel Gavin Thompson (late Royal Tank Regiment ) – British Army 
  14. Colonel Rob GS Wilhelm – German Air Force  
  15. Mrs. Jane McGowan – Directing Staff, RCDS

4.    The group was welcomed by Honourable Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence who laid down the agenda of the meeting.  

  • The ongoing military operation, Zarb-e-Azb, was noted as Pakistan’s frontline and assertive effort to tackle terrorism within its borders. 
  • This military led initiative has the full support of the parliament and the public, at large. 
  • China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was noted as a bi-lateral project that aimed to achieve regional integration and economic development. The CPEC aims to knit together, via economic development, nations of the Greater South Asia. This including China, Afghanistan, Iran along with the South Asian countries.
  • Pakistan’s relationship with its neighbors on the East and West, namely India and Afghanistan, were introduced. 

5.    Military Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan’s role in Post Afghan Jihad of 1980s and Pakistan’s role in the ongoing US-led War on Terror (WOT).

  • This is an example of Pakistan’s proactive approach to tackle terrorism by taking the battle to the terrorist’s safe havens. 
  • Senator Mushahid Hussain noted Pakistan’s frontline efforts in the last great battle of the 20th century. Pakistan played a pivotal role in the Afghan Jihad of the 1980’s that successfully repelled the Soviet Aggressors, which in turn led to the Soviet Empire’s demise. 
  • Post-Soviet withdrawal, Pakistan believed America abandoned its frontline war time ally by approaching India and placing sanctions on Pakistan. 
  • In the start of the WOT, Pakistan was yet again positioned to play an important role in the first great battle of the 21st century.
  • In spite of the tremendous hardships Pakistan has faced due to the ongoing WOT, Pakistan’s military has played a commendable job in deterring terrorism within the country.
  • Brigadier General Ayman Matar inquired about Pakistan’s vision and what it hoped to achieve after defeating terrorism. 
  • Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Timrizi replied that Pakistan wanted peace and prosperity within and with all our neighbours. Senator Timrizi also stated that development projects are underway to rehabilitate and reintegrate radicalized individuals back into society.

6.    Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations

  • With the installment of the Unity Government, led by President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been able to strengthen bi-lateral cooperation.  
  • There has been an increased cooperation between the two countries’ senior military leaders, intelligence agencies and even join-efforts on specific military operations targeting terrorists along the shared Durand Line boarder. 
  • For the first time, Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Kakul, Abbottabad is giving training to Afghan military recruits. The Afghanistan Commander in Chief was the Chief Guest at the last passing out ceremony of the PMA. 
  • Besides cooperation on defence, parliamentary delegations from both countries have also been interacting with each other. 
  • Addressing cross boarder terrorism, Senator Mushahid Hussain said enemies of Afghanistan are enemies of Pakistan and Pakistan is willing to extend support to Afghanistan to cope with the Post US withdrawal scenario. 

7.    Pakistan-India Relations 

  • Despite the current diatribe by senior Indian officials towards Pakistan, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed reiterated Pakistan’s position to be of a peaceful neighbour and desired to establish normal relations with India.
  • It was also pointed out that India has not been a contentious issue during Pakistan’s general elections. However, Indian political rhetoric has always aimed at Pakistan bashing to garner public support.
  • This dichotomy of political rhetoric leads Pakistan to believe that Mr. Modi’s current Anti Pakistan remarks are driven by a domestic agenda. 
  • Reiterating Pakistan’s peaceful stance, Senator Mushahid Hussain was also quick to mention that such comments could lead to tit-for-tat actions, which could prove debilitating for both Pakistan and India. And that Pakistan’s great military strength should not be misperceived on account of its relatively smaller size. 
  • Colonel Rob GS Wilhelm recognized Pakistan’s turbulent relations with India, however, questioned what steps Pakistan was taking, through conflict building measures, to alleviate the tensions. 
  • Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Timrizi explained to the panel Pakistan-India’s conflict riddled history as a major hurdle in furthering Pak-India relations. 
  • Senator Timrizi also stated Pakistan’s willingness to establish better relations on several occasions; however India did not reciprocate a similar response. Senator Timrizi stated Pakistan’s efforts for peace were shunned by India, thus conflating to the bitter ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. 
  • Commodore Jon Pentreath inquired about the possibility of Pakistan engaging with other South Asian countries to engage along the lines of collective security. 
  • Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Timrizi noted that the stalemate in Pakistan-India relations has effectively polarized the South Asian region. Senator Timrizi said for the time being, Pakistan was hoping to normalize relations with India and that establishing any military cooperation would only be achieved after that. 
  • Group Captain Steve Lushington acknowledged Pakistan’s perception of Indian theat. He inquired about what ‘end-state’ India was aim to achieve. 
  • Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Timrizi said that all Indian military equipment and nuclear arsenal buildup is done with the sole intention of countering Pakistan’s military. 
  • Beyond the defence related conflicts, India has also expressed its discontent over Pakistan’s economic endeavors through the CPEC trade route. 
  • Senator Timrizi stated India’s ambitions to expand its boundaries, and that India still refuses to accept Pakistan’s statehood as a permanent feature. Thus, India’s territorial expansion is feared to lead into Pakistan. 

8.    Pakistan-America Relations

  • Colonel Gavin Thompson acknowledged Pakistan’s resentment towards America’s quick departure after the 1980’s Afghan Jihad. Col. Thompson inquired what steps Pakistan is taking to avoid a similar situation as America is planning on withdrawing its combat forces from Afghanistan. 
  • Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour expressed Pakistan’s desire of a peaceful country in the region. Senator Bilour said that peace in Afghanistan would translate into a peaceful Pakistan.
  • Senator Sehar Kamran added to Senator Bilour’s remarks by commenting on US-Indo nuclear deal. She stated America’s preferential treatment of India as a direct cause of disturbing the strategic balance of the South Asian region.  
  • Mr. Neale Jagoe inquired about Pakistan’s official stance on the CIA-led drone strikes along Pakistan’s North-Western boarders. 
  • Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Timrizi categorically stated Pakistan’s political leadership’s stance that these drone strikes were seen as a grave violation of Pakistan’s integral sovereignty. 
  • Senator Sehar Kamran reiterated Senator Timirizi’s stance and condemned the ongoing CIA-led drone strikes that have resulted in a great number of civilian casualties, including women and children.

9.    Pakistan’s political and civilian leadership’s role in combating terrorism. 

  • Major General Simon Porter inquired about the Parliament’s role in Pakistan’s defence sector. 
  • Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Timrizi stated the armed forces implemented policies derived from parliament. 
  • Senator Timrizi stated that initially the political leadership tried to engage the TTP through peace talks, but when they failed, the political leadership, through an APC, decided to launch military operation, Zarb-e-Azb. 
  • Colonel Antoine De Loustal and Captain Dain Morritt inquired what steps Pakistan was taking, beyond the military operation, in countering radicalism and extremism.
  • Senator Sehar Kamran stated that in the 20 point National Action Plan (NAP) agenda that was formulated through an All Parties Conference (APC), plans were put forward for rehabilitation of those individuals who have been radicalized, so that they can be re-integrated into society. 
  • In response to Captain Morritt’s question, Senator Brig. (R) John Kenneth Williams said the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and all provisions were being catered to by the political and civilian leadership. 

10.    The meeting ended with an exchange of souvenirs. 

Defence & Security Updates



Senator Mushahid Hussain's Speech on June 11, 2015

 Senator Mushahid Hussain's Speech on June 11, 2015

Senator Mushahid Hussain's Speech on June 10, 2015

 Senator Mushahid Hussain's Speech on June 10, 2015

View more videos

Defence Updates

Useful Links

Useful Blogs

Twitter Updates