Islamabad: The Senate Defence Committee under the leadership of its Chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, organized a policy seminar on “Pakistan in 21st Century: Defence, Development and Democracy” which was also a platform for the book launching of “Playing with Fire” by Pamela Constable at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services.
The Chairman in his note stated that with such policy seminars on topics of national interests, the Senate Defence Committee continues in its endeavour to bridge the people-parliamentarian and civil-military gap to present a much needed out-of-the-box approach.
“Many of our national failings are attributable to being trapped in an outmoded and traditional mind-set and this is what we are trying to mitigate with a difference.”
The senator further stated that the two criticisms of the book are well founded, i.e., the lack of larger historical perspective, and the role of the West and other forces in funding extremism during the Afghan war days. He concluded on a positive note by highlighted the recent five transitions that took place in a democratic manner in the last six months.
The speakers’ panel included renowned Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, columnist Ayaz Amir and civil society activist Fauzia Saeed. With reference to the Constable’s book, Ayaz Amir commented that the book rightly and beautifully accounts for the reasons for the current state of Pakistan, however, a holistic historical narrative from centuries of chaos after the decline of Mughal era could further shed light on the subject.
Senator Aitzaz Ahsan also appreciated the succinct reporting style of Constable’s book which presents a collage of episodes from wide range of happenings of recent years. He also appreciated the role of civil society in actively making inroads for change as well as the urge of democracy, judiciary and people of Pakistan that will ultimately establish rule of law.