Senate of Pakistan

Senate body to work as bridge between civilian, military institutions: Mushahid

Senate body to work as bridge between civilian, military institutions: Mushahid
November 29, 2012

 ISLAMABAD, Nov 28 (APP): The Senate Committee will work as a bridge between parliamentarians and military, and between “Khaki” and “Mufti” to find unanimous solution to the problems being faced by the country including the main issues of national security and fighting war against extremism and terrorism. This was stated by Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence and PML-Q Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Wednesday during a session of Senate Standing Committee on Defence. In the session a dialogue was launched on Civil-Military  Relations with a view to have consultation between representatives of different stakeholders on the important national and security issues to ensure peace, security and development in the country, said a press release issued here.

It was participated by members of the Committee, parliamentarians, representatives of civil society, students and journalists.

Senator Mushahid said in the present circumstances and with strong and patriotic military, vibrant media and civil society, strong and effective judiciary and dynamic and effective parliament, there is a need to have a dialogue among  all the stakeholders to face the challenges.

He said there is a lot of room for the civil society and parliament to play more effective role in the national affairs by showing maturity, good governance and improvement of law and order in the country.

He said there is a need to have balance approach in civil-military relationship and it should be discussed openly.

He said in the present changed circumstances, there is a need that the military leadership should have working relationship with political leadership.

He said people of Pakistan, parliament and the civil society always extended full help, cooperation and support to military in all its actions. He said parliament fully extended its support to Army in Swat operation.

Mushahid said the members of the Standing Committee also visited graves of Nishan-e-Haider on September 6 this year to pay homage to the shaheeds of September war.

Appreciating the support given to the Standing Committee on Defence, Mushahid said such type of dialogue will be continued in future so that unanimous policies could be adopted to face the common challenges like extremism and terrorism.

Senator Farhat Ullah Babar, Spokesman to the President addressing on this occasion said that the mind set that some of segments are more patriotic and others are less patriotic should be resolved.

He said Pakistan Military, a strong, professional and dedicated army has the capacity to face all types of criticism. He said all the other segments of the society like military are patriotic and on the same page.

Senator Farhat Ullah Babar rejected the notion that there is any “army bashing”  as Pakistan Army has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in the fight against extremism and terrorism.

“We uphold the morale of Army and there is no question of Army bashing, when we discuss civil-military relationship,” he added.

He said there is a need to talk all the things openly, and even there could be ‘in-camera’ session on national security issues.

He said if the mind set of more patriotic and less patriotic will continue it could be dangerous for the country. He said due to same mind set, a democratically elected Prime Minister was considered “security risk”.

He said efforts are being made to improve civil-military relations and even the defence budget is being presented in the parliament.

Senator Babar said the authority of National Command and Authority has also been handed over to the Prime Minister who is part of the parliament.

He said thought and wisdom emerge only through discussion and mutual consultation and there is need to take unanimous decisions to face the challenges being faced by the country.

He said with mutual consultations, concerns of each other could be addressed easily and effectively.

Senator Haji Adeel Ahmed leader of the Awami National Party, Senator Sehar Kamaran, Senator Mohsin Leghari, Syed Salim Jilani former Defence Minister and Defence Secretary, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Saleem Haider and Dr. Hassan Askari Rizvi speaking on the occasion highlighted the importance of more cooperation and interaction between military and parliamentarians.

They suggested that keeping in view the present regional situation, security threat to the country and different challenges being faced by the country on extremism and terrorism, no one could deny a strong and effective military.

They however said that more dialogue and interaction between civil and military could improve the security and ensure stability in the country.

During question-answer session, a number of participants from different walks of life including staff and student of National Defence University asked different question about the topic which were answered by the members of the panel.


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