ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) secretary-general Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed underlined the need for redefining the paradigms of national security, stressing that all stakeholders need to be part of the streamlining process.
“There is a need for civil-military harmony to counter internal and external threats; and to redefine the contours of national defence in light of the changing times,” Mushahid Hussain told a delegation of the National Defence University at the Parliament House on Sunday.
Hussain, who is the chairman of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, added that all stakeholders, including parliament, political parties and the energy and economic sectors need to be involved in the process.
He added that the defence committee will start public hearings to formulate transparent recommendations on the basis of input provided by experts and professionals.
Hussain noted that the country was going through a “democratic evolution” with multiple power centres such as the media, an independent judiciary and active civil society, apart from the military and political establishment, transforming the role of parliament.
He maintained that the overall role of parliament has become broader and, thus, needs to become more proactive.
“Parliament represents the aspirations and interests of the people of Pakistan. This was also demonstrated in the robust debate by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.”
Responding to a question, Hussain said that as far as protecting our national interests are concerned there is unanimity of opinion at regional and global levels.
Talking about Pak-US relations, Hussain maintained that policy guidelines have been formulated and the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s recommendations have been endorsed by all the political parties.
He also urged the youth to take an active part in social discourse and speak on issues that have an impact on policy making.
Calling for bridging the gap between the army and politico-religious groups, Hussain said there is a need to understand and evaluate non-military threats such as cyber warfare, sectarian terrorism, anti-Pakistan sentiments and climate change.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2012.
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