Effectiveness of Parliamentary Oversight on Defence and National Security in Pakistan

Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan


Publication No: CMR-047

Rs 3,000  

Pakistan political history is marked by the expanded role of the military in non professional fields involving coups, direct and indirect military rule, increased involvement in the economic and business activities and influence-paddling from the sidelines. This state of affairs continues to cause serious strains in civil-military relations in Pakistan. Since after 2008 General Election, within the 4 Parliamentary years, there have been two specific joint sessions of the Parliament in which Pakistan Military has briefed the Parliament, first on National Security issues and later on the May 2 unilateral strike of USA into Pakistan. Have these briefings, held on October 08, 2008 and on May 13-14, 2011 helped further Parliament’s quest for oversight on defence in Pakistan? Syed Zafar Ali Shah, MNA (NA-212, Naushero Feroze-II, Sindh, PPPP), a veteran Parliamentarian explores this question in writing this Issue Paper. While looking at the briefings, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, well-versed with the concept of Parliamentary oversight on defence, has also identified various other aspects that hinder democratic oversight of defence in Pakistan.