Update on The Performance of Democratic Institutions | December 2021

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This update is meant to identify key developments during the month on Performance of Democratic Institutions in Pakistan with selected high-profile international developments included occasionally.

In this Issue:

  1. Pakistan’s 1st National Security Policy approved by Federal Cabinet
  2. Lynching & Killing in Sialkot
  3. First Phase of Local Government Elections held in KP
  4. PM Advice to Youth: Dream Big
  5. Prime Minister chairs 2nd Apex Committee on Afghanistan
  6. ECP warns against misguiding citizens on EVMs
  7. Government cannot be run by promulgating ordinances
  8. ECP accepts apologies of PTI Ministers
  9. 245th Corps Commanders Conference
  10. Speaker National Assembly meets Foreign Dignitaries
  11. Chairman Senate meets Foreign Dignitaries
  12. Interactions of COAS with Foreign Dignitaries
  13. Prime Minister’s Interactions with COAS
  14. Indian Defence Chief dies in Chopper crash

Pakistan’s 1st National Security Policy approved by Federal Cabinet

In what Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan termed as a “historic moment,” [1] Pakistan’s first ever National Security Policy (NSP) 2022-2026 was approved by the National Security Committee (NSC) in its meeting held on December 27, 2021. It was announced that a public version of the NSP will be ‘released in due course’ after the policy is presented to the Federal Cabinet for official adoption. [2] The National Security Policy was formally approved by the Federal Cabinet on December 28, 2021. [3]

The National Security Committee was created, complete with a National Security Division (NSD) as its secretariat, in 2013 under the tenure of the PML-N government. Key responsibility of the committee was to “focus on the national security agenda with the aim to formulate a national security policy that will become the guiding framework for its subsidiary policies – defence policy, foreign policy, internal security policy, and other policies affecting national security.” [4] It is only in the eighth (8th) year that a National Security Policy has been formulated and approved by the NSC.

PILDAT believes that approval of the National Security Policy by the Federal Cabinet is an important step in the right direction. PILDAT has always maintained that the NSC should only be a consultative body and not a decision-making body. Similar bodies existing around the world are only consultative in nature. Decision-making is the sole forte of the Federal government consisting of the Prime Minister and the federal ministers according to the Constitution.

Prime Minister said that the “security of Pakistan rests in the security of its citizens,” [5] and therefore there is “economic security at the core” [6] of the National Security Policy. He also emphasized that the National Security Policy “must guide all organs of the government to ensure that their efforts are synchronized with the overall direction of the NSP.”[7] In another good initiative, Prime Minister also “instructed the National Security Adviser to present an implementation progress report to the NSC every month.” [8]

In a tweet on December 28, DG ISPR said that the National Security Policy is an “important milestone in strengthening National Security of Pakistan. The comprehensive framework, recognizes interlinkages between various strands of national security, imperative to meet emerging challenges …in evolving global environment through a whole of government effort. Pakistan’s Armed Forces will play their due part in achieving the vision laid out in the policy.” [9]

Lynching & Killing in Sialkot

Mother of Murdered Sri Lankan Mr. Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana grieves at her son’s coffin after his body was returned to Sri Lanka

In a heinous and blood-curdling incident on December 3, workers of a garment factory in Sialkot, Rajco Industries, tortured and killed their Sri Lankan General Manager, Mr. Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, 48, over allegations of blasphemy and set his body on fire. As police made arrests, the brutal killing drew widespread nationwide condemnation. “It is a day of shame for Pakistan,” tweeted Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Let there be no mistake all those responsible will be punished with full severity of the law,” he added. [10] Those using violence under the grab of religion will never be forgiven, said Prime Minister. [11]

First Phase of Local Government Elections held in KP

On December 19, in the first phase of local government elections held in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the ruling PTI lost to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan (JUIP) in most Tehsils and City Council elections including Mayor of Peshawar. In 47 of the 63 tehsils declared by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the JUI-F won 17 seats of mayor/chairperson while the PTI came in second by securing 12 seats.[12]

Official results of the elections have been inordinately delayed by the ECP. Second phase of KP LG Elections, to be held on January 16, 2022, has been postponed until March 27, 2022. [13]

In a tweet, Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan conceded the defeat of PTI in the first round of KP LG elections and said that “PTI made mistakes in 1st phase of KP LG elections & paid the price. Wrong candidate selection was a major cause. From now on I will personally be overseeing PTI’s LG election strategy in 2nd phase of KP LG elections & LG elections across Pak. InshaAllah PTI will come out stronger.” [14]

On December 24, as chairman of the PTI, Mr. Imran Khan dissolved all PTI organisations across Pakistan. He appointed Mr. Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Planning and Development, as PTI’s Central Secretary General. He also appointed Mr. Pervez Khattak, Federal Minister for Defence, as PTI President in KP, Mr. Ali Zaidi, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, as PTI President in Sindh, Mr. Qasim Suri, Deputy Speaker National Assembly, as PTI President in Balochistan, and Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture, as PTI President in Punjab. [15]

Information Minister also shared that Prime Minister has constituted a separate committee tasked with proposing a new constitution and party structure of the PTI. [16] The move was termed as “too drastic a step” raising questions whether a political party can maintain its enlistment status with the ECP after scrapping party constitution and all party officials across the country. [17]

PM Advice to Youth: Dream Big

Prime Minister in an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic

In an interview to Al Jazeera Arabic, Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan offered advice to youth from Muslim countries to dream big. [18]

Responding to a question on what advice will you give youth from the Arab and the Islamic World, Prime Minister said that “We human beings are God’s greatest creation. Most of us don’t realise how much potential Allah has given us. Because we have very small ambitions. We have very limited material ambitions… We are as big as we think. We are as big as our dreams are. So to the Muslim youth I will say, have big dreams….The bigger you think, the higher you will get… If anyone thinks happiness lies in making a lot of money, they will never find happiness. Happiness lies in when you serve other human beings. Happiness lies in where your soul is happy. Your soul is connected with Allah. When Allah is happy, you are happy. And he is happy when you help his human beings. All the great people in the world always thought above themselves. [19]

Prime Minister chairs 2nd Apex Committee on Afghanistan

PM chairing meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan

On December 15, Prime Minister chaired second meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan and shared that Pakistan has already committed in-kind humanitarian assistance worth PKR 5 billion to Afghanistan. The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Information, Planning and Advisors to PM on Finance and Commerce. Chief of Army Staff and National Security Advisor were also part of the meeting. [20]

ECP warns against misguiding citizens on EVMs

In a press release issued on December 24, ECP has said that a wrong impression is propagated in the media indicating the ECP is not fulfilling its responsibilities regarding the use of EVMs. The release clarified that the ECP has been pursuing the use of technology before electoral law about EVM. The press release specified a number of critical steps that are required before obtaining EVMs and the press release said that since some people have no clarity about the use of technology in ensuring free and fair election, their lack of understanding is causing them to make irresponsible statements that are tantamount to misguiding citizens, civil society and media on EVMs.[21]

Government cannot be run by promulgating ordinances

On December 9, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah observed that government cannot be run by promulgating ordinances because Parliament is the supreme institution in a democratic set up. He made these remarks while hearing a set of petitions seeking review of the Supreme Court’s August 17, 2021 judgement which made almost 17,000 government employees jobless. Senator Raza Rabbani representing the sacked employees from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) maintained that the government is being virtually run through ordinances which are not even placed before the Parliament a constitutional requirement under Article 89 of the Constitution. [22]

ECP accepts apologies of PTI Ministers

Federal Ministers for Information and Railways

On December 22, Election Commission accepted the written apologies by Federal Minister for Railways and Federal Minister for Information for their remarks against ECP and Chief Election Commissioner. [23]

245th Corps Commanders Conference

245th Corps Commander Conference at the GHQ

Two-day 245th corps commanders conference was held on December 7-8, 2021 at the GHQ. According to the ISPR, Chief of Army Staff expressed satisfaction over ongoing training activities in the Army, and said that objective evaluation of doctrine and training is necessary to evolve and meet emerging challenges in a technology driven future battle field. The conference also “took note of the heinous lynching incident in Sialkot,” and “unequivocally affirmed zero tolerance for such elements so as to eradicate extremism and terrorism from the country.” [24]

Speaker National Assembly meets Foreign Dignitaries

Mr. Asad Qaiser, Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan
  1. On December 21 and December 22, Saudi Parliamentary delegation led by Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh, Chairman of Shura Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia met with Mr. Asad Qaiser, Speaker, National Assembly.[25]
  2. On December 28, Ms. Angela Aggeler, Charge de’ Affaires of United States called on Mr. Asad Qaiser, Speaker, National Assembly.[26]

Chairman Senate meets Foreign Dignitaries

Senator Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman Senate of Pakistan

  1. On December 1, Kyrgyzstan’s Ambassador to Pakistan called on Mr. Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman Senate.[27]
  2. On December 23, Parliamentary Delegation of Saudi Arabia called on Chairman Senate.[28]

Interactions of COAS with Foreign Dignitaries

Members of US Senate Armed Services & intelligence Committees with General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff

The following foreign dignitaries called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS):

  1. On December 03, Andrei Metelitsa, Ambassador of Belarus at the GHQ [29]
  2. On December 07, Major General Doctor Sheikh Salman Bin Ateyatallah Al-Khalifa, Commander of King Hamad University Hospital, Bahrain.[30]
  3. On December 11, Members of US Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees headed by Senator Angus King.[31]
  4. On December 16, Mr. Wada Mitsuhiro, Ambassador of Japan at the GHQ.[32]
  5. On December 16, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Admiral Sir Antony David Radakin, KCB, ADC, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of United Kingdom (UK) held a telephone conversation. [33]
  6. On December 17, Ambassador of Czech Republic. [34]
  7. On December 18, Foreign Minister of Indonesia. [35]
  8. On December 18, Special Representative of Germany for Afghanistan & Pakistan. [36]
  9. On December 19, US Special Representative for Afghanistan called at the GHQ. [37]
  10. On December 19, Foreign Minister of Iran. [38]
  11. On December 19, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia. [39]
  12. On December 22, Commander Royal Bahrain Naval Force at the GHQ.[40]
  13. On December 24, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan. [41]
  14. On December 27, Chief of General Staff (CGS) Turkish Land Forces at the GHQ.[42]
  15. On December 28, Greek Ambassador to Pakistan at the GHQ.[43]

Prime Minister’s Interactions with COAS

During December 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa interacted thrice:

  1. On December 6, PM chaired a meeting to review security situation in the country. The meeting was also joined by Chief of Army Staff.[44] Federal Minister of Defence was not part of the meeting.
  2. On December 15, COAS was part of the second meeting of the Apex committee on Afghanistan which was attended by COAS, among others. [45] Federal Minister of Defence was not part of the meeting.
  3. On December 27, COAS was part of the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting chaired by Prime Minister. [46] Federal Minister for Defence was part of the NSC meeting.

Indian Defence Chief dies in Chopper crash

Indian CDS Bipin Rawat

On December 8, Indian Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife were among 13 passengers who died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu, India. Condolences were expressed by Chairman Joints Chief of Staff Committee, General Nadeem Raza and Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, ISPR reported. [47]

Gen. Bipin Rawat was India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, a position that the Indian government established in 2019. Gen. Rawat took office of CDS on January 1, 2020.

References

  1. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 27, 2021, 5:24 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1475442508490543105.

  2. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 27, 2021, 5:24 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1475442513230114823.

  3. “Cabinet approves Pakistan’s first-ever national security policy: Moeed Yusuf,” The News online, December 28, 2021, accessed December 31, 2021, https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/920556-cabinet-approves-pakistans-first-ever-national-security-policy-moeed-yusuf.

  4. DCC to be reconstituted as Committee on National Security,” Dawn online, August 22, 2013, accessed September 25, 2013, https://www.dawn.com/news/1037613.

  5. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 27, 2021, 5:24 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1475442489066766337.

  6. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 27, 2021, 5:24 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1475442499552518144.

  7. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 27, 2021, 5:24 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1475442508490543105.

  8. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 27, 2021, 5:24 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1475442511044874240.

  9. DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR), Twitter, December 28, 2021, 6:59 pm, accessed December 31, 2021, https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1475828695906586627.

  10. Abid Mehmood, “Ghastly murder of Lankan man in Sialkot shames nation,” Dawn online, December 4, 2021, accessed December 28, 2021, https://www.dawn.com/news/1661878/ghastly-murder-of-lankan-man-in-sialkot-shames-nation.

  11. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 7, 2021, 6:28 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1468210686203416586.

  12. PM Imran dissolves all PTI organisations after setback in KP local govt polls,” Dawn online, December 24, 2021, accessed December 28, 2021, https://www.dawn.com/news/1665565/pm-imran-dissolves-all-pti-organisations-after-setback-in-kp-local-govt-polls.

  13. Second phase of LG polls in KP put off until March 27 due to bad weather,” Dawn online, January 4, 2022, accessed January 13, 2022, https://www.dawn.com/news/1667461.

  14. Prime Minister Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI), Twitter, December 21, 2021, 9:57 am, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/ImranKhanPTI/status/1473155553450881025.

  15. Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry), Twitter, December 25, 2021, 1:12 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/fawadchaudhry/status/1474654272638046208.

  16. PM Imran announces new organisational structure for PTI: Fawad,” Dawn online, December 25, 2021, accessed December 28, 2021, https://www.dawn.com/news/1665726.

  17. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob (@ABMPildat), Twitter, December 25, 2021, 4:18 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/ABMPildat/status/1474700978553303047.

  18. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob (@ABMPildat), Twitter, December 19, 2021, 9:34 am, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/ABMPildat/status/1472424956323528706.

  19. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 18, 2021, 4:27 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1472166501796876288.

  20. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 15, 2021, 8:01 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1471133268804182026.

  21. “Press Release,” December 24, 2021, ECP online, accessed December 28, 2021, https://www.ecp.gov.pk/PrintDocument.aspx?PressId=67472&type=PDF.

  22. “Govt cannot be run through ordinances, says SC judge,” Dawn online, December 10, 2021, accessed December 30, 2021. https://www.dawn.com/news/1662942.

  23. Fahad Chaudhry, “ECP accepts Azam Swati, Fawad Chaudhry’s apologies over tirade against electoral watchdog,” Dawn online, December 22, 2021, accessed December 28, 2021. https://www.dawn.com/news/1665199/ecp-accepts-azam-swati-fawad-chaudhrys-apologies-over-tirade-against-electoral-watchdog.

  24. “Two days 245th Corps Commanders’ Conference chaired by General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) held at GHQ,” ISPR online, December 8, 2021, accessed December 31, 2021, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6331.

  25. “Saudi Parliamentary Delegation Led By Chairman of Shura Council Of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to arrive In Islamabad on 22nd December, 2021 – December 21, 2021,” National Assembly of Pakistan online, December 21, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://na.gov.pk/en/pressrelease.php?content=101#4673.

  26. “Border Economic Zones along the Afghan Border to lessen Afghan Dependency on Foreign Assistance: NA Speaker – December 28, 2021,” National Assembly of Pakistan online, accessed January 04, 2022. https://na.gov.pk/en/pressrelease.php?content=101#4682.

  27. “Chairman Senate of Pakistan Press Release,” Senate of Pakistan online, December 01, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4122.

  28. “Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani in his meeting with the Chairman of Shura Council of Saudi Arabia on Thursday has urged the Saudi businessmen to take advantage of the investment-friendly opportunities in Pakistan,” Senate of Pakistan online, December 23, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4144.

  29. “Pakistan wants to boost ties with Belarus: General Qamar Javed Bajwa,” The News International online, December 04, 2021, accessed January 06, 2022. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/913911-pakistan-wants-to-boost-ties-with-belarus-coas.

  30. “Major General Doctor Sheikh Salman Bin Ateyatallah Al-Khalifa, Commander of King Hamad University Hospital, Bahrain called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), today,” ISPR online, December 07, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6330.

  31. “Members of US Senate Armed Services and intelligence Committees headed by Senator Angus King, called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) today,” ISPR online, December 11, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6335.

  32. “Mr Wada Mitsuhiro, Ambassador of Japan called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at GHQ, today,” ISPR online, December 16, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6337.

  33. “General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Admiral Sir Antony David Radakin, KCB, ADC, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of United Kingdom (UK) had a telephone conversation, today,” ISPR online, December 16, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6336.

  34. “Pakistan keen to enhance ties with EU, says General Qamar Javed Bajwa,” The News International online, December 18, 2021, accessed January 06, 2022. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/917715-pakistan-keen-to-enhance-ties-with-eu-says-coas.

  35. “Mrs Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa.,” ISPR online, December 18, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6339.

  36. “Mr Jasper Wieck, Special Representative of Germany for Afghanistan & Pakistan (SRAP) called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), today.,” ISPR online, December 18, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6338.

  37. Baqir Sajjad Syed, “US to show flexibility on Afghan financial sanctions: official,” Dawn online, December 21, 2021, accessed January 06, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1664928/us-to-show-flexibility-on-afghan-financial-sanctions-official.

  38. “Foreign Minister of Iran, Mr Hossein Amir Abdollahian met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa today.,” Dawn online, December 19, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6341.

  39. “General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS),” ISPR online, December 19, 2021, accessed January 4, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6340

  40. “Rear Admiral Mohammad Yousif Al Asam, Commander Royal Bahrain Naval Force called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at GHQ, today,” ISPR online, December 22, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6343.

  41. “COAS urges efforts to avert humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” Dawn online, December 25, 2021, accessed January 06, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1665637/coas-urges-efforts-to-avert-humanitarian-crisis-in-afghanistan.

  42. “His Excellency Lieutenant General Veli Tarakci, Chief of General Staff (CGS) Turkish Land Forces called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at GHQ, today,” ISPR online, December 27, 2021, accessed January 04, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6347.

  43. “Mr Andreas Papastavrou, Greek Ambassador to Pakistan paid a farewell call to General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), at GHQ, today,” ISPR online, December 28, 2021, accessed January 4, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6349.

  44. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 6, 2021, 6:50 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1467854033083940871.

  45. Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO), Twitter, December 15, 2021, 8:01 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/PakPMO/status/1471133268804182026.

  46. Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Security policy sees economy as pivotal to stability,” Dawn online, December 28, 2021, accessed January 06, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1666227/security-policy-sees-economy-as-pivotal-to-stability.

  47. DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR), Twitter, December 8, 2021, 6:27 pm, accessed December 28, 2021, https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1468572994557472768.