Parliament playing active role in changing Pak: Mushahid


Senator and Senate Defence and Defence Production Committee Chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayed said the role of parliament has become more proactive and broader with greater contributions on issues of public significance. Senator Mushahid expressed these views while addressing a delegation of students of National Defence University at the Parliament House, said a news release on Sunday. He said that Pakistan is changing through a democratic evolution, in which there are now multiple power centers such as a vibrant media, an independent judiciary and active civil society. These factors have greatly transformed the functioning of the Parliament, he added.
“Parliament represents the aspirations and interests of the people of Pakistan, as demonstrated by the robust debate in the Parliamentary Committee on National Security”, he said. Answering questions on the issue of defence and national security, Senator Mushahid said there existed unanimity of opinion on how to protect national interests in the changing scenario at regional and global levels. Specifically talking about ties with United States, he said the policy guidelines have been formulated by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, having representation of all the political parties, which were later endorsed by Parliament. Referring to the evolving role of parliament, he said in the past also, committees had been effective, citing opposition to the Iraq War, the Balochistan Committee report and briefings that were organized on the nuclear programme. Senator Mushahid Hussain, referring to the role of the Defence Committee, said there was need for civil-military harmony to counter internal and external threats, besides the need to redefine the contours of national defence in these changing times.
He also called for understanding the emerging non-military threats to Pakistan like cyber warfare, sectarian terrorism, anti-Pakistan propaganda and climate change.
He suggested that Pakistan’s National Security Paradigm has to be redefined and that all the stakeholders like political parties, parliament, economy, education and energy have to be part of it. He urged the youth to take active part in social discourse and speak on issues to have their impact on policy-making. He also invited the students to observe committee meetings and pointed out that the Defence Committee would start public hearings. The Defence Committee already had started an internship programme and was working on a new website, he added.
Earlier Secretary Senate Iftikharullah Babar and Special Secretary Senate Amjed Pervez gave a detailed overview of the working, performance and role of Parliament.