Rezaul H Laskar
Islamabad, Jan 21 (PTI) Pakistan should learn somelessons from India, where the army chief appeared beforeparliament''s Public Accounts Committee in connection withfunctioning of canteens, Leader of Opposition Chaudhry NisarAli Khan has said.
"We should learn a lesson from the example of Indiawhere, on being summoned, the army chief appeared before thePublic Accounts Committee although the case was about a minorcharge relating to rations," said Khan, a senior leader of thePML-N party.
Khan, who is also chairman of Pakistan''s PublicAccounts Committee, made the remarks yesterday while chairinga meeting of the panel.
He was reacting to an audit of the Defence Ministrythat related to the Defence Housing Authority.
Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retired) Athar Ali, who ledthe Defence Ministry team at the meeting, was criticised fornot fixing responsibility in some cases of irregularities andfailure to meet performance targets set by the PAC.
"Ask the government to find your replacement if yousay that the organisations under the ministry are not in yourcontrol," Khan said.
Noting that 98 per cent of armed forces personnel aredisciplined, he asked why there was a lack of transparency atthe highest level.
The dictators who used the Pakistan Army as their"private army or mafia" were responsible for bringing a badname to the armed forces, he said.
There have always been distortions when the countryhad military rulers, he said.
Holding dictators like Pervez Musharraf accountablefor their misdeeds will help in improving the image of thearmed forces, Khan remarked.
"We have reached a stage where the PAC will takenotice of wrongdoings," he said.
Auditors have said that funds generated from cuttingtrees and grass on agricultural land at the Mushaf air forcebase were not deposited in the government treasury.
The PAC also objected to the non-recovery of taxesworth Rs 109 million from the Defence Housing Authority inKarachi.
Indian Army chief Gen V K Singh had appeared beforethe PAC earlier this month to face questions about the poorquality of rations provided to soldiers and the reasons forkeeping 3,600 unit-run canteens out of the purview of theComptroller and Auditor General.