- Senate Defence Committee says Hussain Haqqani hurting Pakistan’s strategic interests through negative propaganda
- Says US to pay Pakistan $2 billion under Coalition Support Fund
- Looks into the Rs 17 billion corruption scandal involving DHA Lahore
The Senate Defence Committee on Tuesday called upon the government to launch a proactive diplomatic effort through its Embassy in Washington so that negative lobbying by pro-Indian elements in the US congress against Pakistan’s bid to purchase F-16 fighters and hurdles being placed on the US military aid to Pakistan by linking it with certification from the US secretary of defence would be removed, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
The committee was briefed by Ministry of Defence Secretary Lt Gen (r) Alam Khattak and his team on the recently concluded Pakistan-US security dialogue in Washington as well as the visit of the army chief to the United States.
The committee, chaired by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, also called upon the government to neutralise the negative propaganda launched by former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani.
A source privy to the developments told Pakistan Today that the meeting was briefed that Hussain Haqqani was involved in lobbying against Pakistan’s strategic interests.
“Haqqani has also made distorted and mala fide claims in the US congress committee meetings, targeting Pakistan’s interests. Some pro-Indian lobbyists are also involved in the campaign against Pakistan,” the source added.
The committee was informed that the US had provided $13.7 billion to Pakistan since 9/11 under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), which would end in September 2016.
The committee, during an in-camera meeting, was informed that the US had to pay Pakistan another $2 billion. The Ministry of Defence secretary informed the committee that the US Congress had approved $100 million for better border management between Pakistan and Afghanistan which would be used for capacity building of the FC, infrastructure development in FATA as well as building border posts.
Senator Mushahid Hussain and other members of the Committee welcomed the $100 million approved for border management and he said that time had come that the government took practical steps for rehabilitation of IDPs from FATA and presented an innovative plan for socio-economic development of the tribal areas, which they said should include political reforms as well.
The committee also received a briefing on the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and its workings and was told that so far, the DHA had allocated 8,901 plots to the families of the martyrs.
The committee asked DHA Lahore to provide it a copy of the agreement between the Authority and the private company tasked to acquire and develop plots for the martyrs’ families and general public. The company is currently at the centre of a Rs 17 billion corruption scandal in the housing authority. The decision was taken after PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar complained that he had still not been provided a copy of the agreement despite having asked for it last week.
The committee unanimously approved the National University of Medical Sciences Act 2015 and also recommended that a member of the parliament should be included in the Board of Governor of the proposed institution.
Responding to an application moved by Senator Maulana Attaur Rehman as well as a call attention notice of Senator Usman Khan Kakar regarding the Swat Cantonment, the Senate Defence Committee Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain invited residents of Khawaza Khela to attend the Committee meeting and present their perspective. After hearing the response from Military Land and Cantonment Director General Maj Gen Farrukh Rashid, the chairman constituted a three-member sub-committee to be headed by Senator Lt Gen (r) Salahuddin Tirmizi and comprising Senator Maulana Attaur Rehman and Senator Farhatullah Babar, which would further investigate the matter and endeavor to bring about an amicable solution of the problem. The sub-committee was asked to give its report to the Defence Committee by March 23. The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the Chair.
The members who attended the meeting included Senators Maulana Attaur Rehman, Col (r) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Lt Gen (r) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Lt Gen (r) Abul Qayuum, Javid Abbasi and Farhatullah Babar.