Chairman’s Message

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the website of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence!

I thank all the members of the Senate Defence Committee for my re-election as Chairman of this important Committee on May 13, 2015. I also welcome and congratulate 8 new members to the Committee that include some of the most experienced and outstanding parliamentarians in Pakistan, including political heavyweights such as the former Chairman Senate, 4 former officers of the Armed Forces as well as eminent representatives of the PML-N,  JUI-F, PPP-P, PTI, ANP, and the MQM., totaling 7 national political parties plus representation from FATA.

With such a distinguished representation, I am confident that this Committee will set a high standard of parliamentary oversight and professional excellence.

I would also like to report with a mixture of pride and humility that we are the first and only Parliamentary Committee in the current Parliament to have its own exclusive dedicated website.

Our work in the Defence Committee will require greater effort in the current context when the whole nation with the valiant Armed Forces, leading from the front, are engaged in fighting for the future of Pakistan through ‘Operation Zarb-e-Azb’, the Senate Defence Committee would need be vigilant and proactive to promote and protect national security by overseeing the implementation of the National Action Plan, without which this battle cannot be won.

Our vision is to explore creative solutions to crucial defence problems of Pakistan, taking into account the new emerging realities. The Committee will, Inshallah, serve as a bridge between khaki and mufti, promoting an institutional balance by upholding the principle of supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

In a world of evolving science and technology, transforming geopolitical scenarios, devising a cohesive, robust, and concrete defence policy is of foremost importance to the Committee. The Committee is taking several initiatives including briefings, monthly reports, and public hearings to ease accessibility to the Committee’s proceedings. A special focus of the work plan is the all-important issue of Civil-Military relations.

Apart from legislation, the role of Parliament in general and, more particularly, for Committees of Parliament is to do strategic thinking on issues facing the nation. In this regard, through our interaction with policymakers, including the military establishment as well as public individuals and defence experts, the Senate Committee on Defence plans to produce an Annual Defence Policy and Strategy document that can provide guidelines to promote both professionalism, transparency, and parliamentary vision of what the defence needs of a country like Pakistan are in the 21st Century.

We would welcome inputs from all segments of society within and outside Parliament so that such a document is representative of opinions from all over the country.

It should be clear that the Parliament and the people of Pakistan act as an “Air Cover” for the armed forces in the pursuit of their constitutional obligations to defend their motherland. Without such public support, national defence is incomplete and it is in this context that the Committee will also seek to redefine the contours and contents of national defence and national security by injecting necessary civilian components such as parliament, the rule of law, political parties, provincial autonomy, media, education, energy, and the economy as ingredients that promote national defence and security by knitting the federation together.

We look forward to the continued cooperation of the Senate Secretariat which, under the dynamic leadership of the Chairman, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and Secretary Senate, Mr. Amjed Pervez, has always been at the beck and call of all members of the Senate, particularly the Senate Standing Committee on Defence.

I am also grateful to the Secretary of the Defence Committee, Dr. Syed Pervaiz Abbas for his organizational skills in combining teamwork with homework to produce what we hope would be top quality products, plus the energetic and hard-working Staff Director of the Committee, Mr. Riaz Ahmed Khan, ably assisted by Mr. Toufiq Ahmed.

It will be our commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity, transparency, parliamentary oversight, and public accountability.

We look forward to your feedback and comments on the website so that we continue to improve and continue to inform our readers at home and abroad.

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