Political parties should establish policy think tanks: PILDAT

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The Senate Standing Committee on Defense and Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) Joint Forum for Political Parties on Improving Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan said that political parties who are eager to represent Pakistanis can perform better through establishing research and study centers to support policy-making that is rooted in intense, sustained, in-house debate about pros and cons of a course of action in an environment of free thinking and candor.
Political parties at the forum were represented by Leader of the House in the Senate Senator Jahangir Badar and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Secretary General Senator Mian Raza Rabbani,
The Parliamentary Committee on National Security Chairman Dr. Tariq Fazal, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senate Defense Committee Chairman Syed Tayyab Hussain, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MNA Ehsan Wyne, Awami National Party (ANP) Secretary General Dr. Arif Alvi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Secretary General and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) Central General Secretary Senator Muhammad Akram Shah at the forum.
Unveiling his recommendations for the political parties on developing internal think tanks in a discussion paper published under PILDAT banner titled “A Blue Print for Creating Think Tanks in Political Parties of Pakistan, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that as engines of developing policies and institutionalizing decision-making, think tanks, or research institutes, attached to political parties were an essential requirement for parties that were serious in delivering good governance to the public.
Senator Jehangir Badar endorsed the views of Senator Rabbani. He appreciated PILDAT’s continuous efforts in the national interest to create a political consensus in Pakistan on crucial challenges being faced by the country.
Senator Badar said that the relationship was between civil servants and the military, not between civil and the military.
He said that the Armed Forces of Pakistan were the key to Pakistan’s security and were respected, revered and protected by political parties of Pakistan. However, there could be no political role of the military in Pakistan. He strongly believed that the political parties should create internal think tanks which would focus on developing policies on defense and national security.
Representing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Dr. Tariq Fazal said that consistency and continuity was required in civilian policies. He also questioned the people who made Pakistan’s national security policy. He praised the Parliament’s pro-active role in the recent past in the form of the 18th to 20th Amendments which had been added to the Constitution.