CoDNS to bridge khaki and mufti: Sen Sayed

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – June 30, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The senator (Sen) Mushahid Hussain Sayed said, on Tuesday, that the committee on defence and national security (CoDNS) will function above party lines with a national perspective that seeks to preserve, protect and promote defence and national security, while also acting as a bridge between khaki and mufti in promoting intra-institutional harmony.

According to a press release, the senate CoDNS met at the parliament house under the chairmanship of Sen Sayed and received a comprehensive briefing from the defence ministry, which lasted for almost three hours.

Sen Sayed underlined that in this challenging time, issues on defence and national security require a “whole of nation” approach since the role of the armed forces, the government, parliament, people, media and political parties is inextricably intertwined to achieve common national goals on defence and national security.

He underlined that in transition from geo-politics to geo-economics, the notion of national security can no longer be confined to military components alone like tanks, planes or military equipment, but it has to be based on the notion of human security that make people as the pivot of defence and national security incorporating such areas as economy, health, population planning, climate change, food and water scarcity.

On related issues, the committee also underlined the need that the two percent disability quota be fully implemented in the defence ministry in letter and spirit, with the defence secretary committing to comply with the direction.

Sen Sayed conveyed the sense of the committee to the defence ministry that in future, the defence minister should also be present during meetings of the committee.

The meeting received a detailed briefing on the working of the three services and the functions of the defence ministry and in this regard, the members of the committee had a proactive participation in the hour long question and answer session.

Unanimously adopting the work plan for 2021, the committee underlined that it will work closely with the defence ministry to ensure the implementation of the 14-point work plan which include detailed briefings on the three services as well as briefing on intelligence and the joint chiefs of staff committee, visits to Siachen, Waziristan and the line of control (LoC) for solidarity with our soldiers, briefing on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) security, visits to combined military hospital (CMH) and other military hospitals to express sympathy with those wounded during counter-terror operations as well as a special visit to the graves of Nishan-e-Haider martyrs on September 6, the defence day.

Sen Sayed presented a copy of the terms of engagements which the parliament had unanimously approved on April 12, 2012, pursuant to the report of the parliamentary committee on national security which was then headed by Sen Raza Rabbani and of which Sen Sayed was also a member and they both helped in drafting those recommendations which were later unanimously adopted by the parliament.

After adopting it, the senate defence committee referred it to the defence ministry with the direction that on the issue of bases, ‘foreign boots on the ground,’ foreign intelligence operations on Pakistani territory, that all of these are forbidden under the parliament’s directive and this document is to be considered as State policy guidelines for the future on such issues.

The meeting was attended by senators Faisal Javed, Mushtaq Ahmad, Hidayatullah, Walid Iqbal, Rukhsana Zuberi, Zarqa Suharwardi Taimur and Palwasha Khan and secretary of the committee major (retired) Husnain Haider.

The defence ministry was represented by defence secretary lieutenant general (retired) Mian Hilal Hussain, additional secretary major general Khurram Nawaz Khan and additional secretary air vice marshal Kazim Hammad.