Pak-Afghan border to be fenced in 3 years

* Senate body informed 700km of total 2,600km border to be fenced

Pak-Afghan border to be fenced in 3 years

ISLAMABAD: The Senate's Defence Committeewas informed on Monday that 700 kilometres out of the total 2,600 km of the Pak-Afghan border would be fenced within three years.

The project cost will be Rs20 million per kilometre.

The committee met on Monday under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed.It passed the Pakistan Air Force (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with one dissenting note from Senator Farhatullah Babar. The bill had already been passed by the National Assembly.

The committee was also briefed by the Ministry of Defence on the budget of the armed forces and its utilisation. The defence budget comprises 17.5 percent of the total national budget.Forty-sevenpercent of the allocation is for thearmy, 21 percent for the air force and 10 percent for the navy.

The committee also took up the issue of termination of 21 employees of the Survey of Pakistan.The meeting was informed that their cases were being reviewed and they would now be allowed to appear in another exam to be held on June 8, 2017 to ensure that all of them got equal opportunity to get justice.

The meeting also took up the case of the residents of Loralai Cantonment who had been evicted from their homes. A special meeting of the Senate's Defence Committee will be held within a fortnight to resolve the issue.

The committee was also briefed on the establishment of three new cantonments in Swat.

The committee directed that the issue of residents of Khawazakhela be resolved amicably.

The need for a clear-cut, comprehensive, well laid out national defence policy was also underlined.

In this regard, Senator Mushahid Hussain directed that a special meeting be held of the Senate's Defence Committee to get input from the Ministry of Defence as well as its own members for the formulation of a national defence policy.

The committee had earlier ordered the medical treatment of Mubashir Subhan, a victim of the Peshawar Army School attack, abroad.

It appreciated the role of the Ministry of Defence and the Prime Minister's Office toauthorise funds of over 30,000 Euros for the medical treatment of Mubashir in a specialised hospital in Germany.

The meeting welcomed the induction of Senator Salim Mandviwala as a new member in place of Senator Farooq Naek.

The meeting was attended by senators Col (r) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Lt Gen (r) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Lt Gen(r) Abdul Qayyum, Javed Abbasi, Farhatullah Babar, Sehar Kamran, Brig (r) John Kenneth Williams and invitedsenators Usman Khan Kakar and Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel, The Ministry of Defence team was led by its Secretary Lt Gen (r) Zamirul Hasan Shah, the additional secretary, Air Vice Marshal (r) Babar, and the additional secretary, Military Land and Cantonment.