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> Dialogue Group on Civil-Military Relations Urges Government to Focus on Good Governance; Urgently Address Balochistan Unrest

September 28, 2009


September 28: Members of the Dialogue Group on Civil Military Relations, a Group facilitated by PILDAT, have demanded that the Government should take immediate actions to resolve the unrest and deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan.


In the specific context of civil-military relations in Pakistan, the Group held a comprehensive discussion on the prevailing governance scenario in the country. The Group believed that poor perceptions continue to prevail about the ability of the government to provide good governance for the country which is an essential basis for democracy. The democratic dispensationís leading priority should be to improve governance and tackle pressing issues such as Balochistan.



The Group complimented the government and the Armed Forces for successful conduct of war against militants in the Malakand Division and a swift rehabilitation of IDPs. The Group underscored that public acceptance and support to military operations and close coordination between the civil and the military have been the defining features for the success of the operation.


The Group expressed its concern on a growing public and media perception about increasing corruption in the country. An objective, non-partisan and across-the-board accountability mechanism needs to be instituted by the government urgently to ensure meaningful accountability. The continuity of the political and democratic process in Pakistan has suffered greatly in the past on allegations of corruption. The present government has an opportunity to institute an effective accountability mechanism to arrest that trend for the present and the future.


The Group believed that the Parliament of Pakistan needs to play a more meaningful role. Parliamentary performance, especially in carrying effective oversight of the government, is essential for strengthening democracy. While lack of an acrimonious relationship between the government and the opposition is a sign of maturity, the opposition also needs to play its rightful role in leading Parliamentary agenda on issues of public concern.


The Group held its 21st sittings in Lahore to review the civil-military relations in the context of prevailing political scenario. Members of the Group endorsing the statement include Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Former Governor Balochistan/Corps Commander Quetta; Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Asad Durrani, Former DG ISI/MI; Mr. Javed Jabbar, Former Senator & Federal Minister for Information & Media Development; Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Moinuddin Haider, Former Governor Sindh; Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami, Editor-in-Chief, Daily Pakistan; Dr. Parvez Hassan, Partner, Hassan & Hassan Advocate Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, Former Senator and Minister; Mr. Shahid Hamid, Former Governor Punjab; Senator S. M. Zafar, Former Federal Minister; Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Talat Masood, Former Federal Secretary/Defence Analyst; Mr. Tasneem Noorani, Former Federal Secretary; Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director PILDAT and Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT.