In­ter­view - Sen. Raza Rab­bani

Sen. Raza Rab­bani, for­mer Chair­man of the Se­nate of Pak­istan, talks to SouthAsia in this ex­clu­sive in­ter­view.

Southasia - - MALÉ -

Can the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil play a pos­i­tive role in guid­ing the govern­ment to­wards mean­ing­ful de­ci­sion-mak­ing, keep­ing na­tional ex­i­gen­cies in per­spec­tive? Please give your views.

It ap­pears that the ques­tioner is aware of the no­to­ri­ous his­tory of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (NSC), while us­ing the word “guid­ing” in the ques­tion. The con­cept of the NSC came into ex­is­tence un­der Gen. Yahya Khan in 1969; orig­i­nally it was part of the of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and CMLA.

In 1984 an at­tempt was made to give a le­gal cover to the NSC through a pro­posed Ar­ti­cle 152A in the Re­vival of the Con­sti­tu­tional Or­der (RCO). The in­tent in the pur­pose was to le­gal­ize mil­i­tary in­flu­ence over the civil­ian govern­ment. This move drew crit­i­cism from all po­lit­i­cal par­ties and, in the face of the same, it was with­drawn to en­sure the pas­sage e of the Re­vival of the Con­sti­tu­tional Or­der. der. In Jan­uary 1997, the then Pres­i­dent t Fa­rooq Leghari and Prime Min­is­ter Maeraj aeraj Khalid cre­ated the Coun­cil for De­fence and In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity, a 10-mem­ber em­ber or­ga­ni­za­tion sim­i­lar to the NSC SC in func­tion and form; it was dis­banded nded in 2007.

In Oc­to­ber 1999, 999, Mushar­raf, the dic­ta­tor, re­vived the NSC en­hanc­ing its man­date to cover over a wide range of is­sues. Af­ter two re­struc­tur­ings, Mushar­raf moved to im­plant it in the Le­gal Frame­work Or­der (LFO). This move was again ve­he­mently op­posed by the PPPP and other ther po­lit­i­cal par­ties. He passed the Na­tional ational Se­cu­rity Act, 2004 un­der which h the NSC func­tions.

The stated ob­jec­tives in the Na­tional Se­cu­rity y Act, 2004 are, “there shall be a Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to serve e as a fo­rum for con­sul­ta­tion on mat­ters of na­tional se­cu­rity in­clud­ing ding sovereignty, in­tegrity, de­fence and se­cu­rity of the state and cri­sis man­age­ment……….”. This when placed in jux­ta­po­si­tion with the mean­ing of cri­sis in the pro­posed Ar­ti­cle 152A, to mean “……….strate­gic mat­ters per­tain­ing to the sovereignty, in­tegrity and se­cu­rity of the state; and mat­ters re­lat­ing to democ­racy, gov­er­nance and in­ter-pro­vin­cial har­mony.” In ac­tual fact, the NSC was in­tended to be a supra-con­sti­tu­tional body, sub­servient nei­ther to the Ex­ec­u­tive nor Par­lia­ment. This is against the con­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ment.

How can the NSC help the govern­ment in mak­ing poli­cies re­gard­ing in­ter­nal se­cu­rity?

The Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (NSC) should be re­placed by the De­fence Com­mit­tee of the Cabi­net (DCC) which func­tions un­der the Cabi­net and is gov­erned by the Rules of Business of the Fed­eral Govern­ment. It is im­per­a­tive that on mat­ters per­tain­ing to de­fence and na­tional se­cu­rity there is a ro­bust in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the civil­ian govern­ment and the mil­i­tary bu­reau­cracy. Pol­icy must em­anate from the Ex­ec­u­tive and Par­lia­ment but these needs to be churned and cut into a fine di­a­mond through con­sul­ta­tion and di­a­logue be­tween the stake­hold­ers. It is a myth that the NSC fa­cil­i­tates a di­a­logue be­tween the civil and the mil­i­tary. I be­lieve that in­tra- in­sti­tu­tional di­a­logue needs to be multi-di­men­sional and at var­i­ous lev­els such as the Par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee on Na­tional Se­cu­rity and the Stand­ing Com­mit­tees of Par­lia­ment on De­fence. Fur­ther, a fa­mil­iar­iza­tion of the mil­i­tary bu­reau­cracy with func­tions and pro­ce­dures of Par­lia­ment is nec­es­sary for greater un­der­stand­ing. There should be an in­tra-face be­tween the Na­tional De­fence Univer­sity (NDU) and the Pak­istan In­sti­tute of Par­lia­men­tary Ser­vices (PIPS).

Please pro­vide a wider view of Pak­istan’s role in the re­gion and how this would (or would not) im­pact out na­tional pol­icy.

The re­gional sit­u­a­tion re­flects the new re­al­i­ties that have emerged af­ter the for­ma­tion of a nexus be­tween Wash­ing­ton, Tel Aviv and New Delhi. This nexus has de­vel­oped its own mo­men­tum and their satel­lites in the Mid­dle East, in­clud­ing Saudi Ara­bia who wheel in­flu­ence in the area, have also as­sumed new pro­por­tions, with par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence to Iran.

The bel­liger­ent at­ti­tude of New Delhi as it con­tin­ues vi­o­la­tions across the in­ter­na­tional bor­der and the LOC and its vi­o­la­tions of in­ter­na­tional law and hu­man rights in sup­press­ing the le­git­i­mate strug­gle in oc­cu­pied In­dian Kash­mir have failed to in­voke in­ter­na­tional pres­sure on it.

The de­vel­op­ment of a strate­gic re­la­tion­ship with Bei­jing has and con­tin­ues to add pres­sure on Pak­istan.

Pak­istan needs to fol­low an in­de­pen­dent pol­icy keep­ing its own na­tional se­cu­rity and eco­nomic in­ter­ests paramount, while fol­low­ing the Bug­doni Prin­ci­pals with its neigh­bours.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.