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> Pakistan Parliamentary Delegation of Defence Committees meets with the Intelligence & Security Committee, UK
   Study Tour of Pakistan Parliamentary Defence Committee to the UK
UK Study Visit
April 29, 2009


London, April 29: The delegation of Pakistan’s Parliamentary Defence Committees, which is currently visiting the UK House of Commons, met and held interactions with the Chairman and members of the UK Intelligence & Security Committee here. Dr. Kim Howell, MP and Chairman, including Ms. Dari Taylor, MP, Member, Mr. Ben Chapman, MP and Ms Emma Louise Avery (Clerk of the Committee) met with the Pakistan delegation.


The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), unlike a Commons Select Committee, is a Special Committee, examines the policy, administration and expenditure of the Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The Committee’s remit includes examination of the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and the Intelligence and Security Secretariat, which includes the Assessments Staff in the Cabinet Office. The Committee also takes evidence from the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which assists the Committee in respect of work within the Committee's remit. The Prime Minister, in consultation with the leaders of the two main opposition parties, appoints the ISC members. The Committee reports directly to the Prime Minister, and through him to Parliament, by the publication of the Committee's reports. The Members are subject to Section 1(b) of the Official Secrets Act 1989 and have access to highly classified material in carrying out their duties. The Committee takes evidence from Cabinet Ministers and senior officials – all of which is used to formulate its reports.


The Pakistan delegation also witnessed the Question Hour of the Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the House of Commons following which he also made a statement on UK Government’s Afghanistan and Pakistan Policy. The delegation was hosted at a luncheon by Pakistani-Origin Parliamentarians Mr. Mohammad Sarwar, MP and Lord Ahmed of Rotherham.


The Pakistan delegation, lead by Honouarble Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, MNA, Deputy Speaker National Assembly (NA-24 D.I.Khan, NWFP, PPPP) included Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, MNA; Chairperson National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence (NA-213 Nawabshah-I, Sindh, PPPP); Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, MNA, Member National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence (NA-17 Abbottabad-I, NWFP, PML-N); Senator Prof. Khurshid Ahmad, Member Senate Standing Committee on Defence & Defence Production, (North West Frontier Province, MMA); Mr. Iftikharullah Babar, Additional Secretary, Senate of Pakistan, Secretary Senate Standing Committee on Defence & Defence Production; Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director and Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director of PILDAT.


The PILDAT Study Tour to United Kingdom for the key members and staff of the Parliamentary Defence Committee of Pakistan is facilitated so as to aid, assist and strengthen the Defence Committees to engage in an effective and responsible parliamentary oversight of the Defence Sector.