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National Security Council in Pakistan, For or Against ?

06 April, 2004

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The National Assembly has opened debate on National Security Council (NSC) bill on Monday.Government claimed that the NSC would provide a system of check and balance,it will not only strengthen the democratic institutions but all the institutions and it is in accordance with the Islamic injunctions and the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan.

NSC will be comprised of , President of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan,Speaker of National Assembly, all the chief ministers of the four provinces, Leader of Opposition in the parliament, Senate Chairman, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Airforce Chief.

On the other hand opposition parties specially MMA to jointly oppose the proposed National Security Council (NSC) bill in the National Assembly. Opposition says that government's aim is to give a role to Pak Army and the objective of formation of National Security Council is to dominate the parliament.

1.Do you think NSC is necessary for keeping the check and balance over the performance of Goverment ?

2.Is NSC aimed at dominating the Parliament?

Reader Comments:

I think that this country has always faced what we call check and balances in all the institutions and system as a whole. If there is this regulating body comes in to existence, it's some thing positive, and that is going to favour the democracy in the second place. No martial law will be administered and it will strenghthen the democarcy in every means.
I dont think that NSC aims at dominating the parliament, infact it will be working with the parliament.

nazia, Pakistan - 06 April, 2004

Intension is the key

Answer to the 1st question: I don't think NSC is necessary in ideal situations when the goverment is working fine and in a democratic manner provided the geo-political situation is also stable. In current situation, however, it can play a vital role to check the in-apropriate demands of the political leaders who put their party interests in front of Pakistan's interest.

Answer to 2nd question: If the political system of Pakistan had disciplined leaders, we never had needed the NSC. I am sure the purpose of creation for NSC is not to dominate the parliament but to bring in the Army more in harmony with political system and also to keep the politicians desciplined

Akbar Khan, Pakistan - 06 April, 2004

NSC--Why not?

For those who think that preventing the NSC to get established would prevent the army from taking over in the future, I would say, that is not enough. As long as the army is there, whenever there is a political crisis, it is bound to be dragged into the imbroglio. So, why not prevent a crisis in the first place by establishing an NSC.
People who view the NSC as a supra-constitutional body have zero understanding of the powers of the executive and the legislature. The NSC belongs to the executive branch of the goverment, nothe legislature. For that matter all the powers that are vested in the executive should appear to be a supremum to the parliament. So why not eleminate the executive, rather than just the NSC?

hamood, Pakistan - 06 April, 2004

NSC = yes Army = No

The concept of National Security Council is good but lets have it without Pakistan Army become part of it. Army may provide advisory services to the members of NSC. Churchil once said 'War is such an important issue that it cannot be left upon the Generals'!!!

Sunny, Pakistan - 06 April, 2004

Go for it!

Politicians in Pakistan would never want to have a check and balance mechanism to monitor their activities inside and outside the parliament.

All major countries, like USA, China, Russia have National Security Council always working for the national interest of the nation, and yes all of them have defence forces equally participating in the national interest of their respective countries. Why not Pakistan, when we have seen in the past that Army has always been called in to interfere by politicians themselves. Look, how they invited Gen. Karamat, then Gen. Kakar, and Gen. Musharraf. Who can deny this fact that whenever these politicans are at lost, they look up towards the GHQ.... So whoever, thinks that they can keep the Army away, first they should tell the politicians that they should behave and avoid creating a mess to a extend where it becomes inevitable for Army to not to take action.

In anycase, the very purpose of National Security Council is to keep the national interest at top and provide formal and official plattform for all the major institutions who are directly and indirectly involved in Governance to sit in one room and discuss the matters rather than overthrowing each other.

NSC will ensure that Army never take over again, because once you'll have NSC, Army will automatically be a part of forum where they can have their say!

I know it's hard for our dhotee, lungi, suthar qameez wearing politicians who know nothing but to scream like people do in the fish market!

NSC is the best solution for the country. Go for it!

Agha, Pakistan - 07 April, 2004


If Pakistan is a democratic country then we do not need NSC, because the supreme institution in the country's lagislation is parlaiment or Pakistan national assembly.Therfore,it is an important to maintain the supremacy of national assemly and it must works freely and independently.
Since we never had an honest parliament which is why presedent of pakistan and ruling party(PMLQ) are trying to legalize the NSC.According to the current government NSC will play an important roll such as elemination of corruption and check and balance.
We do understand that there is a lot of corruption in pakistan & something need to be done about it.For that purpose, i think government should establish an anticorruption commission contains on military and non military but honest personnel with high salaries so that they do not have to steel or get involved in any kind of corruption or bribery.Secondly,government must form federal crime investigating agency which will oversee anticorruption commission's work and also make sure that the commission is working in a very best way.Thirdly, the same agency must take care of white color and other related crimes.
Government must make sure that the anticorruption commission and the agency are impartial and not affiliated with politics or any political party.
In the presence of anticorruption commission and agency, democracy difinitely will grow,corrution will be reduced significantly and national assembly which is elected by the people will work freely and accurately for the people.
Zulfikar tanoli

zulfikar, Pakistan - 07 April, 2004

Replying Agha and others?

1) Check & Balance System for corruption and 2)blocking army to get into politics = NSC. There is a famous saying that 'Two Wrongs cannot make One Right'.

Ansar Butt, Pakistan - 08 April, 2004

National Security Council

National Security Council
National Security Council of Pakistan was a long awaited inevitable body all the hue and cry and outcry against the same is shortsighted, political motivated, myopic and mala fide oriented. The opposition in a parliament is considered as a watchdog body but in our country it means simply opposition for the opposition come what may. A very few MNAs would have taken the pain to go through the NSC Act even, nonetheless all of them are hell bent to oppose the same simply for their own and personal reasons and gains. Every country has more or less the same body, one way or the other, for the purpose of getting over the emergency and untoward situation, which demands a sudden and an immediate action at the highest level, for it is not possible to get the 'battalion' of the MPs collected at every juncture and set them in session in either house of a parliament. It is for the first time in Pakistan that opposition leader and all the Chief Ministers have been given their due status. But old habits die hard - so our political lot is no exception.

Aftab Alam Khan Advocate Swat, Pakistan - 10 April, 2004

In my view national security council should become operational as soon as possible.
check and balance on country parliment especially of pakistan is necessary..
People of pakistan has seen parliments of corruption in all democracy period and the drop seen was the army taking over or dissolution of the parliament by the presidents.And it not only army personell.
It includes governers of provinces and above all the opposition leader ..
secondly it won't dominate the parliament..after all every bill or act required parliament authorization . so no threat to supremecy of parliament..
Actually our political leaders dont want check and balance on them.thats why some of them are strongly condemnimg this act..
but when every big nation has security council which includes forces personal .Why not pakistan?

Dr Rabbia, Pakistan - 10 April, 2004

NSC is not acceptable in democratic society

The president of Pakistan will be soon leaving the post of military chief, so he needs new council to give him protection.That is the reason that president is looking for NSC so that he can play the same game of one man show. When you have a Parliment and other institution then you do not need any other organization to have a good government.The problem of Pakistan is not corruption, the problem of Pakistan is dictatorship.President Zia gave away billions of rupees to his friends and now General Mussaraff is doing same thing,do you know that half of his ministers were involved in corruption.Then what this NSC will do.If you want clean Government then you must enforce the law and there must be rule of law.The courts should be independent,there should be an independent auditor general and the Parliment should be a supreme institution.Today,the Parliment is a joke, Judicury is a joke,Aktesab commission is a joke.we must guarantee the rule of law and establish independent courts.The military should protect the frontier.We can not have stable political system when the political leadership have to polish some General's shoes to come to power.If need some answers then go to Azad Kashmir, where the political leaders go to a Majer General to change AK government instead of AK Assembly.Please let the constitution work.we last a part of Pakistan due to the foolish mistakes of Generals, we can not offer any more.To day our General is under the supervision of Afgan Government which rules only city of Kabul.we are selling out Kashmir, India is in violation of Sind Tass agreement.But still we think that dictatorship is better.We must establish political institution,independent courts,rule of law,means law should be applicable equally to all the citizen.If any Pakistani government can do that then they d'ont need any
THanks.Raja Muhammad Habib Jalib(Chairan Jammu & Kashmir Human Rights Council International Wing.

Raja Muhammad Habib Jalib, Canada - 10 April, 2004


NSC is the necessary of our system of misbehaving members of prliament,beurocrates,and all over we ourself.

khaish itum, Czech Republic - 11 April, 2004


This is very ideal suggestion for check and balance of pakistan's democratic system. It will stop marshal law in the country. Politicians sould realize the situation.

hasan akhtar, Pakistan - 11 April, 2004

The NSC is NOT meant for the parliamentarians to behave. It is there to check the executive. And no, the legislature does not have any record of keeping the executive in line. This has never happened in the past. We have seen the worst kind of crisis unfold in front of our very parliament(s). A couple of examples: the Benazir-Nawaz Shareef bouts during the 90's, the East Pakistan debacle and the machinations preceeding Ayub's Marshal Law. What, if anything, was the parliament able to do to stop these catastrophies? Nothing. So in effect, history supports the argument that our legislature is not poised appropriately to ensure smooth functioning of the executive. Our politicians have a habit of being obstinate and also of colluding with the other two state actors---the miliatry and the bearuacracy, rendering the parliament ineffective. Therefore, the NSC is not only required, it is desparately needed.

hamood, Pakistan - 11 April, 2004


The National Security Counsil is utmost necessity for the presant situation in pakistan.
in my openion as a petriot to the country one must accept it,others who are outlaws will propogate against is the time for pakistan to get stand on its own feet.if one has done his homework in order,he do not worreis,only others fear.

shaikh muti, Czech Republic - 12 April, 2004

The politicians of Pakistan and the so called islamic leaders are leading the poor and uneducated people astray.I thinkthere has to be some checks and balances or a system and NSC would be a good idea

Nadir khan, United Kingdom - 12 April, 2004

we have a democratic system(if we have)then we not need a security council.. we also have a defence committie and national cabniet.. then what over army further want.. i think they want the real rule of our they do the real blunder for my PAKISTAN..

usman malik, Pakistan - 12 April, 2004

cent percent FOR this council.
we have to do it for a stable democratic system.

Ali Malik, Pakistan - 13 April, 2004

Yes, We Do

Yes, We do need NSC in Pakistan.

Safian, United Kingdom - 13 April, 2004

Why not Judiciary?

If military can be endorsed in political infrastructure, then why not create check and balance for them too by introducing Supreme Court as an independent body governing NSC? One may say, its legal and NSC is political, Well, that is the essence of checks and balances if one thinks about it!

Kazim ALi, United Arab Emirates - 14 April, 2004

national security council

we as a nation do prefer & respect personalties than our institutions and that is why we can neither establish nor consolidate the state institutions for the sake of democracy and its promotion. Our politicians lack political skills, patience and integrity of character while our mullahs, playing politics, also lack knowledge, patience and insight of the Quranic techings thus making themselves person-non-grata in the modern state set-up. We are good at conspiring, killing & hanging our leaders & founding fathers and then shedding tears for the lack or absence of democracy. This general is doing ten times better job than any bloody living political leader so what is wrong if we have social stability, economic prosperity and slow but sure march towards the goal of democracy with or without uniform while having NSC as a buffer instrument for the very purpose!
Ahmed bin Babar, Sseden

Ahmed bin Babar, Svalbard And Jan Mayen - 01 March, 2005

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