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Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan. — File Photo
Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Senators from both treasury and opposition benches called on Monday for bringing the security apparatus and intelligence agencies under civilian and parliamentary control to improve the law and order situation in the country.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan triggered a debate on the issue of civil-military relationship when he admitted in the Senate that Saturday’s terrorist attacks on Ziarat Residency and Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta were result of “serious security lapse” and “lack of coordination” between security and law enforcement agencies.

The house was shocked to see the minister admitting that terrorists had managed to transport a huge quantity of explosives and arms in vehicles passing through a number of check-posts manned by the police, FC and even army personnel both in Ziarat and Quetta.

Chaudhry Nisar said that no-one could enter or leave hilly Ziarat without being checked by security personnel at limited entry and exit points.

He said there could be no heavier security presence in Quetta where checkposts had been set up every 100 yards and it was surprising how the terrorists managed to carry weapons and tonnes of explosive through these posts.

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar welcomed the remarks of Chaudhry Nisar that the Balochistan issue was a manifestation of lack of coordination between civil and military authorities as a correct diagnosis and said the civil-military disconnect was indeed the root of the problem. He said parliament would support the interior minister in his efforts to address the issue.

Mr Babar informed the house that the previous PPP-led government had made numerous attempts to bring the country’s security agencies under the ambit of law.

Showing scepticism, the PPP senator said that he doubted that the PML-N government would succeed in doing so. But he offered complete cooperation to the interior minister and said that he was ready to tell Chaudhry Nisar why his party’s government had failed to make any progress and why its efforts remained fruitless.

Mr Babar said enforced disappearances, a core issue in Balochistan, had become complicated because of historical disconnect between civil and security establishment.

“To address the issue of missing persons, we need to bring the operation of state agencies under the ambit of legislation,” he said.

He said the National Assembly, the Senate, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and the Commission on Enforced Disappearances all had strongly pleaded for legislative oversight of the agencies. During hearing in the missing persons’ cases, the Supreme Court had also observed that there was a need for such legislation, he said.

PPP’s parliamentary leader Raza Rabbani said it appeared that the interior minister had apprehensions that terrorists were being “helped and abetted by some elements within the security apparatus”. He said the situation would not improve until the security apparatus was brought under the parliamentary and civil control.

PML-Q’s Mushahid Hussain said there were islands within the security system. “All (intelligence) agencies are islands itself. There is a need for coordination between intelligence agencies, be it the ISI, MI or the IB,” he added.

The PML-Q senator took exception to a recent reported statement of Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that the armed forces were prepared to thwart any aggression from India.

He said India didn’t need to show aggression as the country was facing a serious internal security threats resulting in the deaths of over 50,000 people.

He advised the interior minister to visit Sri Lanka to see how a country without having nuclear arms, without a big army and without the US support had crushed the most “ferocious” terrorism merely through the political will of the leadership.

Hafiz Hamdullah of the JUI-F questioned huge budgetary allocations for intelligence and security agencies after their repeated failure in preventing terrorism incidents in the country.

“Are we paying security agencies only to shower bullets in Fata and to create target killers?”

Kalsoom Parveen of the Balochistan National Party (A) said there were a number of reports in media hinting at the “involvement of agencies” in various terrorism-related incidents.


Comments (25) Closed

Nathu Khan Jun 18, 2013 08:30am

Does this present Government of Pakistan know how long it took the Sri Lankan Government to get rid of the Tamil Tigers. Two Pakistan Army aviation Allouette Helicopters were sent in the late 1960 to help Sri Lanka get rid of the Tamil Tigers. Probably Mr Ch Nisar was in his diapers if he has not dyed his hair black. It took nearly 55 years to get the country on track. Unfortunately Pakistan faces another problem with Punjabi, Pathan and Foreign terrorist .

ali Jun 18, 2013 08:59am

Has he lost his mind? CH. Nisar is playing a dirty game. PML N will fall because of it's own weight.

gul Jun 18, 2013 09:19am

Chaudry Nisar aap key sarey gunah maaf, if you can tame our intelligence agencies, its so important for the safety of Pakistan

Nathu Khan Jun 18, 2013 09:34am

Does this present Government of Pakistan know how long it took the Sri Lankan Government to get rid of the Tamil Tigers. Two Pakistan Army aviation Allouette Helicopters were sent in the late 1960 to help Sri Lanka get rid of the Tamil Tigers. Probably Mr Ch Nisar was in his diapers if he has not dyed his hair black. It took nearly 55 years to get the country on track. Unfortunately Pakistan faces another problem with Punjabi, Pathan and Foreign terrorist spread all over the nation

Iqbal Jun 18, 2013 09:49am

my question to senators: Are you worthy of it?

Oppsition Jun 18, 2013 10:14am

Civilian control? what a joke............ they can't control what they got. Leave Pakistan army out of your corrupt control

FAHD ABBASY Jun 18, 2013 10:40am

so they can mess it up like police and use it to meet their personal goals

Azam Jun 18, 2013 11:45am

Excellent debate. Get all intelligence agencies including the 8 lac army under the control of political parties. Go for it Mian Sahib.

Faz Jun 18, 2013 12:40pm

Our Politicians are so honest lol

Jamshed Khan Jun 18, 2013 12:43pm

Perhaps a norm in a democratic government system that civilians control security structure, but in our case the civilian leaders have to demonstrate that they have the competence to take on such a task.

Ayaz Jun 18, 2013 01:39pm

I am glad our leaders are showing some wisdom and courage. I think more qualified and talented people need to get into National Assembly.

gangadin Jun 18, 2013 02:34pm

@Iqbal: my question to nisar ali. You are neither 'chaudhry' nor 'khan'. Drop that from your name and come out as to who you are.

singh Jun 18, 2013 03:12pm

its a hide & seek game between civil govts. & army. Its all about lotta money. 600 mlns. for army to carry out special task. What special task? To kill its own innocent people & back terrorists, talibans in pak & afghanistan. Its time to control army now or never. Wakeup pakistan. Good luck.

NASAH (USA) Jun 18, 2013 04:41pm

@Iqbal: So far the people who wear the military 'worthy' have not done a good job of securing the country -- so time to try the people who wear civilian clothes.

Mutahir Khan Jun 18, 2013 05:42pm

These senators dont know anything. They are corrupted and now want to corrupt pakistan military. They should be behind bars for all corruption they have done so far.

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali Jun 18, 2013 06:15pm

This is a very wise and long awaited decision. Elected, civilian law makers should call the shots. In reality the prime minister or defense minister is the commander in chief. It is about time ,the law makers take control, because buck stops at them. They will be answerable to people of Pakistan. Reform the selection process of police. ABOLISH QUOTAS. HIRE PAKISTANIS.

Akhter Husain Jun 18, 2013 06:50pm

It seems that our Honorable and learned legislators have corrected all other departments,under civilian control,such as WAPDA,railways,steel mills,police and IB,requiring their serious attention toward intelligence agencies.It is not good to find fault without evidence.They must accept that we are in a state of war and the enemy is very cunning and ruthless.This enemy also has political and religious support from within. Remove the support and things will start improving..

Bilal Jun 18, 2013 06:56pm

I fully agree with Interior Minister's comments. You can blame all the "external forces". Even if these allegations are true, at the end of the day you have dead Pakistanis on the road, no matter who is doing it, I don't care. The people (our security forces) who are supposed to stop them, are not doing their job effectively!

So dear military establishment / civil security forces, enough of this already! We don't want to know who is doing these things, we just want you to stop them! If you fail to do so, like you have failed miserably so far, you'll be held responsible!

shakir Jun 18, 2013 08:08pm

There is so many issues talk about them instead of security agencies. We need education health, there is no electricity and can you handle your own works, just talking silly. You can manage to handle electric short fall and now where is ur stupid promised u made before the elections for electricity.

First prove that then talk about other things

Kam East Jun 18, 2013 10:14pm

Good points made by the House members here. There is a saying when there is nothing wrong with a system, institution, entity, then there is no need to repair or tinker with it. Can the Army say this about our totally useless inteligence and security agencies. Army should accept that repair is needed. Massive reorgainisation is needed. Independenta inteligence agency is needed

amul Jun 19, 2013 01:48am

@ali: will be good if civilians get the proper power

Syed Jun 19, 2013 06:36am

@Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali: I agree with what you have said but this is only possible if the ministers sitting in the cabinet have a clean record unfortunately most of the ministers have a highly corrupted past, If the government is really sincere in what is said in the article then my suggestion is the government should do cleaning of its minister first then this scheme of bringing the security apparatus and intelligence agencies under civilian and parliamentary control will be successfully launched, otherwise this will just be talking and nothing else.

Syed Jun 19, 2013 06:36am

@Iqbal: The most corrupt interior minister of the time is saying such a big thing, too much contradiction in say and doing.

Syed Jun 19, 2013 06:42am

@gul: Kia Chaudary Saheb mei intney tapar hai key woh aik Captan key agey khare ho kar akar sakei

zulfiqar Jun 19, 2013 10:49am

i agree the civilian should be in-charge of all security establishments. the army is in a stupor, every terrorist gets past, nothing gets detected by the army. insurgents, including the USA helicopters go undetected.
army officers are too busy making money for their retirements, including free plots in prime locations. prime minister should have slashed defense budget by 10% instead of increase. army is making far too much money by their own investments in civilian projects. yes bring all security establishments under civilian control.