Lahore: Chairman Senate Defence Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has presented the five-point budget proposals to the Senate on Monday. Talking to media outside Parliament House, he said that special allocation may be made in the Budget for the martyrs of the Army Public School, Peshawar, both staff and students and this money should be disbursed at the earliest to the families, kith and kin of those who laid down their lives during the brutal terror attack of December 16, 2014. He demanded that there should also be compensation for those who were wounded in the attack.
Secondly, there should be allocation in the Budget for Life and Medical Insurance for Journalists, Photographers and News Cameramen of both print and electronic media who lose their life in the line of duty, or are injured by bomb blasts or paralyzed for life while performing their professional duties. “In Pakistan, mostly the camera is insured but not the cameramen,” Senator Mushahid regretted.
Thirdly, if the government is sincere and serious in catching the real tax-evaders, then Fairness and Justice demand that secret bank accounts held by Pakistanis in Swiss banks and off-shore overseas accounts also be made accessible to FBR, because that is where the ‘big fish’ have parked their accounts. There is already a precedent since the United States government asked for details of secret Swiss Bank accounts of American citizens to catch tax-evaders. He was of the view that help of Interpol could be sought in this regard and thus, funds must be allocated for this purpose in the budget.
Fourthly, given the security threat posed by snooping and spying by the US through their secret agencies like CIA and NSA, especially of Pakistan which is the second highest in their list of countries being spied online, Senator Mushahid proposed that money should be allocated in the Budget for a Cyber Security Strategy since Pakistan is a victim of Cyber Warfare and Cyber attacks. This should be entrusted to a Cyber Security Task Force, specially constituted for the purpose, that can then propose counter measures and coordinate Cyber Security Strategy. He further said that it’s Secretariat should be in the Ministry of IT.
Elaborating the final point, Senator Mushahid said that given the threat of extremism and terrorism, and failure to combat this over the last decade, special allocation should be put in the Budget for NACTA to prepare a Counter Terror Strategy. “Operation Zarb-e-Azb can only be led to its logical, successful operation through institutional support via NACTA,” he concluded.