Defence Minister Ch Ahmed Mukhtar told the National Assembly on Saturday that the government was fully cognizant of the country’s soverignity and it would make all possible efforts to stop drone attacks.
In his winding up debate in the National Assembly on cut motions of opposition members about increase in defence budget, Mukhtar said, there was an increase of just 2.42 per cent in the defence budget as compared to last year and the opposition should not criticize the upward revision in the prevailing situation.
He said the Ministry of Defence was only an administrative body of all the three armed forces and the planning related to defence of the country was prepared by the forces and not by the ministry.
He said that as compared to a four-liner defence budget in the past this time more details had been published and with the passage of time the budget would also be presented before the Parliament. “We will go in more details and no objections will be raised by the opposition,” he added.
About the construction of GHQ in the Capital, the Defence Minister quoted the Chief of Army Staff as saying that there was no need to construct GHQ in Islamabad because of non-availabilty of funds.
The minister said that presently the national carrier (PIA) was suffering losses of Rs 90 billion out of which Rs 32 billion was due to rupee’s devaluation.
He said the issue of 777 aircrafts had been raised with the United States at high level to allow PIA operations to US to earn extra money.
He said as the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was the oldest airline operating in the region and most of its aircrafts were now old as average life of an aircraft in aviation industry was 20 years.
He said the government could save 20 per cent more by replacing the old aircrafts with new ones. He said after one or two years 747 boeing aircrafts would be made redundant.
He said that the government was utilizing all its resources to make PIA a profitable institution and now there was a visible change in services, engineering and human resource departments of the national flag career.
He said that a committee of the treasury and opposition members of parliament would be made soon to resolve the issue of PIA.