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Event Title: The Senate Forum for Policy Research deliberates over Foreign Policy Report

Event Date: 2019-02-21

The meeting of the Senate Forum for Policy Research (SFPR) convened on Thursday at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS).

Chaired by Senator Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, the meeting was attended by Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Mir Muhammad Naseer Mengal, Senator Sehar Kamran, Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour, Senator Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain.

The agenda entailed consideration of the report on Foreign Relations presented by the SFPR sub-Committee and discussions on the SFPR brief on population related issues. 

The meeting commenced with a discussion on the integrity of Parliament. Chairman Committee, Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi was of the view that Parliamentarians are the face of the nation and if there is a lack of respect for the Parliament, it reflects as disrespect for the nation as a whole. 

Senators condemned the use of foul language in the Parliament and stressed the need to raise the standard of argument rather than their voice.  It was recommended that collective sittings of current and former senators be conducted so that the knowledge on the instruments of Parliamentary process is transferred.

While discussing the report on foreign policy, Chairman SFPR Col (R) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi lauded the efforts of the sub-Committee and the research team. He hoped that this document would be extremely effective in moulding Pakistan’s foreign policy. He emphasized the need for Pakistan to strike a balance in its relationship with other countries.

Senator Afrasiab Khattak, who headed the sub-Committee, said that principles of foreign policy in the Constitution have been added to the report.  He stressed the need to pursue a proactive policy rather than a reactive one. 

The Committee showed concern regarding the maligning of Pakistan in the Pulwama attack and unanimously approved a resolution presented by Senator Sehar Kamran, which strongly condemned the act of terrorism as well as the baseless propaganda against Pakistan that followed the attack.