ISLAMABAD  – Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production Wednesday urged all political forces to join hands for a broad-based national consensus on education, economy, energy and extremism to put the country back on track towards development.

He said that a national consensus on these issues for the next ten years was needed to restore people’s confidence in their democratic institutions and faith in the future. Senator Mushahid expressed these views while addressing a group of students from different universities of the country, who met him at the Parliament.

He observed that multiple power centers have emerged in the country, showing dynamism and playing their role effectively. He further maintained that independent Judiciary, lively parliament, vibrant media and active civil society have helped ensuring transparency in decision making and injecting dynamism in society.

He said that on a larger perspective, the role of Parliament has changed qualitatively, saying that it has to be more pro-active on issues facing the people.

Answering various questions, Senator Mushahid Hussain said the Senate Defence Committee would revisit the national security paradigm and would prepare a Defence Policy Strategy Document after consultations with Khaki and Mufti stakeholders including defence experts, think tanks, civil society organization and all those who can contribute to finalizing the document.

Regarding regional situation, the Chairman of Defence Committee expressed the view that reelection of US-President, Bark Obama and upcoming change of leadership on the political landscape of China would have far reaching impacts on the region in general and Pakistan in particular.

He opined that a new regionalism was in the offing in South Asia, in which we have to play a decisive role. Pakistan, Senator Mushahid said, is located at the crossroads of South Asia and Central Asia, naturally providing a trade corridor for the whole region and all the countries should be linked together by promoting economic and energy cooperation. 

He briefed the students about the changed and expanded role of Parliament. Senator Mushahid Hussain observed that the Parliament of Pakistan, on a number of occasions, took bold decisions truly reflecting the aspirations of the people.

He said that the Parliament adopted a firm stand on Iraq war and called it an immoral and unjust war based on falsehood. Balochistan Committee report was an effort of the Parliament to address genuine grievances of the disaffected Baloch people.

He pointed that the problems of Balochistan are man made and indigenous solutions exist if a sincere effort is made. Moreover, the Parliament, after Salala incident, took a unanimous decision to redefine terms of engagement with United State and NATO.

He said that the Parliamentary Committee on National Security unanimously approved recommendations in this regard. Responding to various questions, Chairman of the Defence Committee said that the United States failed in Afghanistan because of its own flawed policies. The regional situation demands us to play active role to protect and promote our national interests.

He called for promoting regional cooperation and economic integration to work for the collective benefit of the people.

He pointed out that new contours of defence and security threats now include climate change, cyber warfare, terrorism, extremism and anti-Pakistan propaganda, which require comprehensive policies.

Chairman of the Defence Committee apprised about the initiatives of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production. Senator Mushahid remarked that the Defence Committee would establish new parliamentary traditions. Earlier, Amjed Pervez, Special Secretary Senate gave a detailed presentation on the overall working and performance of the Parliament and the role being played by both the houses of the Parliament in policy guidance, legislation and accountability.