Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence on Friday expressed solidarity with the armed forces of the country, and offered fateha for army martyrs.The committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Walid Iqbal at the Parliament House. Senators Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qayyum, Anwarul Haq Kakar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Sajjad Hussain Turi, Mir KAbeer Ahmed Shahi, Javed Abbasi, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Adbul Rehman Malik, Secretary Defence Ikram ul Haq, Additional Secretary Major General Imtiaz, Hamid Randhawa and senior officers from the ministry attended the meeting. The senators were given a detailed and comprehensive briefing on the role and functions of the ministry and its attached departments with the organisational structure and work ambit of the ministry was explicated upon.The committee members stated that the present situation called for discussion on the impact of deteriorating economic and exchange rate situation on our defence requirements under the prevailing circumstances. While discussing the core areas of the ministry, the committee members stressed the need for strengthening the media cell of the ministry so that it could become the face of the security narrative.The ministry told the committee that the national security policy and national defence policy was regularly reviewed and updated. The members called for taking the Parliament on board, while preparing the documents. The importance and need for a comparative regional analysis of the ministries of defence and their work functions was also discussed. Regarding a question over the reinstatement of five persons in Survey of Pakistan moved by Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, the committee was informed that originally 23 people were removed from their employment and 18 had been reinstated since the matter was taken up and the remaining five should also be done so.The ministry officials informed the committee about the issue in detail and said that the selection criterion was relaxed and trainings were imparted three times. “However, even after these attempts these five people comprising four people from Balochistan and one from Punjab did not meet the criteria and hence were not given the job,” they said. The ministry agreed to give the five people another chance if they met the criteria. The committee disposed of the matter on satisfaction of the committee and the mover. The remaining items of agenda were discussed in-camera.