Islamabad: PILDAT Dialogue Group on Civil-Military Relations condemned the attack of ISAF forces on Pakistan Military terming it a violation of international laws and Pakistan’s sovereignty. The Group, which met in Islamabad on Wednesday, demanded a thorough probe into what appears to be an ‘unprovoked’ assault and aggression. The Group also demanded that the elected civilian leadership should provide the guidelines for a befitting response to any such future incident.
Parliamentary oversight over security is a fundamental requirement of the Constitution of Pakistan. The Group re-affirmed the need to strengthen this in order to address the imbalances in civil-military relations. The Group demanded that the entire arrangement of cooperation agreed with USA and ISAF be placed before the Parliament and the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence committees of the National Assembly and the Senate should hold serious debate and deliberations on it. The circumstances in which Shamsi airbase was handed over to US forces and on which terms and condition should also be placed before the Parliament.
The Group supported the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Defence to revisit and undertake a complete review of all programmes, activities and cooperative arrangements with US/NATO/ISAF, including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence. However, the Group reiterated its earlier position, as well as the pledges of the PPP and PML-N under the Charter of Democracy, that to institutionalize and professionalise the civilian capacity on national security issues, the Cabinet Committee on Defence should be staffed with a dedicated permanent secretariat and think tank supporting its work.
Members of the Dialogue Group who were part of the meeting included Lt. Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, MNA, Former Corps Commander Quetta; Governor Balochistan; Dr. Hasan-Askari Rizvi, Defence and Political Analyst; Lt. Gen. (Retd) Moinuddin Haider, former Governor Sindh; Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami, Editor-in-Chief Daily Pakistan; Dr. Parvez Hassan, Lawyer; Mr. Rustam Shah Mahmond, Former Federal Secretary; Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, Former Senator and Minister; Mr. Shahid Hamid, former Governor Punjab; Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) Shahzad Chaudhary, former Ambassador; Lt. Gen. (Retd) Talat Masood, former Federal Secretary, Mr. Tasneem Noorani, Formal Federal Secretary; Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director and Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director, PILDAT.