ISLAMABAD - Asma Jahangir, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), has urged the Parliament to make efforts to bring the Pakistani military under civilian oversight, saying it is no longer acceptable that the military be treated as sacred cow. Addressing a public seminar in the form of a peoples tribunal held on Tuesday at the National Press Club, Asma said that for too long progressive elements have been decried as traitors because they have demanded that the military be answerable to its own people, the Parliament. The peoples tribunal, organised by the Awami Shehri Mahaz, a coalition of political activists, students, trade unionists and ordinary citizens has called for a fundamental restructuring of the Pakistani state and subjection of the military to civilian oversight, warning of a further deterioration in political, economic and cultural spheres if change was not initiated. Its worth recall here that Awami Shehri Mahaz has held a rally before the presentation of the federal budget 2011-12 calling for details of military spending to be made public. The keynote speaker, Asma Jahangir said that, in the long run, Pakistans people cannot afford to keep subsidising a bloated and repressive security apparatus and a movement to create a genuine welfare state must be started. The event started with moderator Salman Haider presenting the 'indictment before the house, noting that the military establishment has historically monopolised public resources under the guise of defending the 'greater national interest, whereas in fact the establishment has suppressed the rights of Pakistans people and collaborated with imperialist powers to bolster its power. A speaker Aasim Sajjad of the Workers Party Pakistan said that there is now a plethora of evidence that public resources devoted to the military have not at all contributed to the welfare and safety of Pakistans long-suffering people. He said that it has also become clear that the many internal conflicts that exist in Pakistani society are a product of too many years of undemocratic rule and the cynical use of religion by the establishment to secure its own interests. Aasim Sajjad asserted that a perception had been cultivated within Pakistani society that India and other neighbouring countries pose an existential threat to the country, and now more and more people are coming to realise that this threat has been exaggerated to reinforce the militarys power and claim on public resources whereas the real threat to working people comes from political and economic injustice and the states turning a blind eye to right-wing militancy. A large number of people offered their 'testimonies during the tribunal. Even those who defended the amount of money being given to the military in the budget acknowledged that there is a need for transparency in accounting for how this money is used. In closing it was established that the people of Pakistan are now demanding justice on their own terms given that the formal justice system continually fails them and this justice system does not hold the self-proclaimed 'defenders of the nation to account.