Senate of Pakistan

Chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayed addresses a group of participants of 97th National Management Course (NMC)

Chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayed addresses a group of participants of 97th National Management Course (NMC)
November 7, 2012

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production while addressing a group of participants of 97th National Management Course (NMC) observed that Parliament has to play an assertive role keeping in view the emerging realities at national, regional and global level. He said the Senate Standing Committee would revisit the Defence paradigm and would prepare a Defence Policy Strategy Document. The document, he said, would reflect the view point of all stake holders.

Senator Mushahid further stated that there were multiple power centers in the country playing their role. He remarked that parliament is alive to the needs of the people, Judiciary is independent, media is vibrant and civil society is actively participating in decision making. He said that national security, in view of the changing scenario needs broader definition.

He briefed the participants about the changed and expanded role of the Parliament. It was the Parliament, Senator Mushahid Hussain held, which took stand on Iraq war. Balochistan Committee report was another initiative of the Parliament to address genuine grievances of the Baloch people. He termed it extremely unfortunate that the recommendations of the Committee were not implemented in letter and spirit.  Moreover, the Parliament, after Salala incident, took a unanimous decision to redefine the terms of engagement with United States and NATO. He said that the Parliamentary Committee on National Security unanimously approved recommendations in this regard.

Regarding Presidential election in the United States, Senator Mushahid expressed the hope that US president Barak Obama will play a more effective and bold role this time. He demanded an end to drone strikes to win hearts and minds of the populace. He further observed that we strongly support the dialogue process for peace and stability in Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan must be involved in the overall planning and decision making process. Without Pakistan’s concurrence, achieving the objective of peace in Afghanistan is a far cry.    

Responding to various questions, Chairman of the Defence Committee said that the United States failed in Afghanistan because of its own flawed policies. The regional situation demands us to play an active role to protect and promote our national interest. He called for promoting regional cooperation and economic integration to work for the collective benefit of the people.

He pointed out that contours of defence now include climate change, cyber warfare, terrorism and extremism which require comprehensive policies. Chairman of the Defence Committee explained the participants about the initiatives of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production. He said that the committee would act as a bridge between khaki and mufti. Public hearings on core issues related to national security are being organized and seminars being arranged to seek guidance from experts and scholars in different fields to finalize a comprehensive defence strategy document.  Senator Mushahid remarked that the Defence Committee would establish new parliamentary traditions and would seek guidance from all the stakeholders including defence and security institutions, think tanks, media and others to formulate solid recommendations to further strengthen the defence of the country.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed expressed the hope that the committee would proactively engage in such a discourse which would help to formulate recommendations on new lines. He observed that national security is of paramount significance and unanimity of opinion exists amongst people belonging to all schools of thought in this regard.

Later, Ismail Qureshi, Rector National School of Public Policy thanked Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed for candid briefing and interaction with the participants.  Secretary Senate Iftekharullah Babar was also present on the occasion.

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