Senate: Senate Defence Committee gets briefing at Joint Staff Headquarters)

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Defence Committee on Thursday visited the Joint Staff Headquarters for a briefing on the invitation of General Rashad Mehmood, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

On arrival at the Joint Staff Headquarters, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee, was received by General Rashad Mehmood, who, together with his team, briefed the Senate Defence Committee members on various facets of national defence, particularly the role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) and in particular, the different dimensions of the nuclear and missile programme by the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), says a press release.

General Rashad Mehmood warmly welcomed the Senate Defence Committee and said that it was a privilege and honour to welcome the distinguished parliamentarians and he welcomed the role of the Senate Defence Committee in promoting Pakistan’s security and defence through a national approach.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that we must learn lessons from the experiences of the 1965 and 1971 wars, and he specifically stated the need for greater inter-service coordination which, he said, was pivotal for national security.

He also said that it was imperative that Parliament play its due role in formulation of national security and in this regard, he said that the Senate Defence Committee would urge the government to implement the National Security Policy draft, which has been prepared in June 2014, and which still needs to be promulgated by the government.

He also underlined the need for institutions of national security like the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) and National Security Committee (NSC) to meet regularly because it would not only promote better civil-military harmony but also lead to efficient implementation of policies on security and defence.

Similarly, the country’s Defence Policy was last formulated in 2004, and the updated Defence Policy draft was last prepared in 2010, but which still awaits to be promulgated.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed also welcomed the forthcoming participation of a contingent of the Pakistan Armed Forces in the military parade to be held in Beijing, China on September 3, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the War of Resistance against Japan marking the end of World War II, in which Pakistan would be represented by the President as well as the Chairman, JCSC.

At the briefing, there was appreciation by the JCSC of the role of the Senate Defence Committee in pro-actively promoting the issue of Cyber Security and in formulating the principles of a Cyber Security strategy, given that it is an emerging security threat.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed thanked General Rashad Mehmood and his team for their candid and comprehensive briefing on all aspects of national security, particularly the missile and nuclear programme of Pakistan.

The briefing was followed by high tea and exchange of gifts. The briefing was attended by Senators Farhatullah Babar, Lt. Gen. (R) Abdul Qayyum, Lt. Gen. (R), Salahuddin Tirmizi, Brig. (R) John Kenneth Williams, Attaur Rehman, Javed Abbasi and Sehar Kamran, Secretary of the Committee, Maj. Syed Husnain Haider and Director Staff, Mr. Riaz Ahmad Khan.

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