Democratic Control of Intelligence Services in Pakistan

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Publication No: CMR-068

Rs 1,500  

As an indigenous organization led by Pakistani citizens, PILDAT has since long maintained that intelligence agencies of Pakistan must work under a legal remit and that Parliament must oversee the working of intelligence sector, just like all other sectors of Government. In order to propose a system of establishing democratic and Parliamentary oversight on intelligence in Pakistan, PILDAT conducted in-house research and compiled key information on legislative arrangements for oversight of Intelligence Services in different countries of the World. PILDAT also partnered with the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) to translate in Urdu language the DCAF Handbook on Making Intelligence Accountable: Legal Standards and Best Practice for Oversight of Intelligence Agencies. In addition, PILDAT facilitated a Study Visit of Pakistani Parliamentarians and Intellectuals to UK in July 2012 on the subject of Democratic Oversight on Defence and National Security in the UK. The visit also included, amongst other things, Pakistan delegation’s interaction with the UK Intelligence and Security Committee to discuss the oversight mechanism adopted by the British with regards to oversight of their intelligence services. PILDAT requested Mr. Shahid Hamid, Senior Advocate Supreme Court, who remained Governor of Punjab and also served as Minister of Defence, and who was also part of the Study Visit to UK, to write a Discussion Paper using PILDAT research and the interactions during the Study Visit. Using the best practices proposed by DCAF and PILDAT research on various legislative oversight mechanisms on intelligence sector around the world, this paper analyses various mechanisms of democratic oversight on intelligence and security sector. The paper, towards the end, also proposes lessons for Pakistan on how to enact suitable legal cover for effective functioning of intelligence services in Pakistan.

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