ISLAMABAD, July 8: The Senate Standing Committee on Defence has said that Pakistan and India should initiate a dialogue for a regional agreement to prevent cyber attacks in South Asia.

“If Pakistan and India can have an agreement not to attack nuclear installations, then why not an agreement seeking the prevention of cyber warfare against each other,” the committee’s Chairman Mushahid Hussain said while presenting the committee’s proposal at a seminar here on Monday.

He said Pakistan should take the initiative within the framework of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to initiate talks among its eight members, particularly India, to establish acceptable norms of behaviour for regional cyber security so that the countries did not engage in cyber warfare against each other.

The committee said the ‘cyber security threat’ should be accepted and recognised as an emerging national security threat by the government, like terrorism and military aggression.

The committee has proposed that an inter-services cyber command should be set up under the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee to coordinate cyber security and defence for the armed forces.

It was observed that internet was making its way into all sectors of life and for all age-groups in the society but there was no focal ministry or authority to deal with cyber crimes.

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