Defence ministry has ‘no reservations’ sharing spending details with Parliament

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ISLAMABAD: Defence Secretary Lt Gen (R) Zamirul Hassan on Tuesday said that the Defence Ministry has no reservations about sharing details of the defence budget and spending with the Parliament, reported a local news channel.

This was stated during a National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee meeting on defence after members of the standing committee had raised eyebrows on the lack of available information on the defence budget with the parliament.

The meeting was headed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz  (PML-N) member and Chairperson Shaikh Rohail Asghar who said that the Parliament can only access details regarding the defence budget that is enclosed within the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

“Why can we not access the other details?” he asked.

“We are ready to share the main points and important information regarding the defence budget,” replied Lt Gen (R) Hassan said, adding that the ministry has no qualms about sharing budget details for the air force, navy and the army.

Further on, committee members also lambasted the defence ministry’s use of the wrong map of Pakistan and questioned them on why Indian Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) were not included in the map as Pakistani territory.

They urged for the issuance of “correctly drawn maps” to all the ministries and departments. However, the defence secretary replied that the map was updated and has been sent to all ministries and government departments.

“It is their responsibility now to put up the new maps,” he said.

Earlier this year, it was reported that all internationally recognised maps that were available to students conducting higher research depicted GB as a part of India. The matter was brought to the NA’s attention and the prime minister was urged to take notice as well.

However, the federal government did not consider it as a point of concern, giving the reason that it has no control over private organisations involved in the map-drawing process.

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