Senate of Pakistan

Senate body puts weight behind armed forces, security institutions

June 14, 2012

The Senate Standing Committee on Defense and Defense Production on Wednesday put its weight behind the country’s armed forces and security institutions, saying that parliament and the political leadership of the country fully back the armed forces in their efforts for defense of the motherland. The committee’s meeting, presided over by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, also chalked out a comprehensive plan of action for 2012 regarding activities of the committee. In his opening remarks, Mushahid said that a smooth civil-military relationship was the need of the hour to protect national interests and formulate policies to counter internal and external security threats.

Reiterating his resolve to make the committee serve as a bridge between “khaki and mufti”, he said that the committee would also endeavour to focus on review of Pakistan’s defense strategy in light of the situation around borders. Apart from reviewing civil-military relations and briefing from the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Defense Production, the committee would also review working of the PIA and Civil Aviation Authority.

The proposed work plan has been divided into two parts, which will include briefings by all the three services, Strategic Plan Division, ISI, Defense Production besides holding public hearings based on input from defense experts, academics and professionals to better understand Pakistan’s defense issues. The committee will also formulate proposals to further enhance civil-military relations and prepare an annual Defense Policy Strategy document based on policy recommendations.

Members of the committee also gave their viewpoint on the occasion. Senator Sehar Kamran said that Pakistan had always enjoyed good relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Gulf countries. She proposed that attention should be focused on further strengthening defense ties with these allies. She also suggested that committee members visit these countries to search new avenues of cooperation in defense sector.

Senator Shujaat Hussain appreciated the proposed work plan, expressing the hope that “real issues” pertaining to defense and defense production would be given due consideration. Senator Haji Adeel underlined the need to make Pakistan’s military exports a source of strength for the national economy. Senator Tahir Mashhadi appreciated that this was perhaps the first-time ever that a standing committee of parliament had prepared a work plan providing a roadmap for the future regarding its activities in such detail and depth.


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