For one who saw the birth of this nation, saw  and heard the Quaid-i-Azam on the role of the armed forces and played a part in building the country's defence; to see the values which the Quaid held dear wither away, is an unhappy experience. Politicians and generals alike, have destroyed the foundations on which this country was built. We have seen generals drag the country in unnecessary wars and we have seen the manner in which elected politicians and the armed forces have been used to destroy the unity of the country. A majority party which had secured a majority in the elections and had the right to rule was denied the opportunity, because it represented East Pakistan, and was thus forced into separation. We saw the surrender of an army in a disgraceful scene in Dacca. More than 90,000 were taken prisoners and many were killed. We saw and allowed a popularly elected leader try to foist an authoritarian regime on the country, followed by a military dictator who, masquerading as a religious reformer tried and almost succeeded in turning Pakistan into a nation of bigoted Mullas. We have seen the powerful role of the military Intelligence in our politics and the ease with which politicians have been selling their loyalties and support. The arrival of another general in a position of political power for almost a decade was the natural result of the country's slide away from the Quaid's teachings. This erosion of values has been steady and a stage had been reached when people fail to see the level of absurdity that we have reached. The steady erosion of the powers of the judiciary and its role in giving legitimacy to the unconstitutional role of the military in national affairs, started very soon after the creation of the state. There are not many examples in contemporary history where elected members of Parliament have led hooligans to attack the Supreme Court of a country, as happened in Pakistan. After this the  Judiciary ceased to be an institution from which the people expect justice. The defence budget has never been discussed by the elected representatives of the nation and this is now considered quite normal. If this enormous expenditure which the country can ill afford is questioned, it fails to raise any interest in the public. The country needs to re-organise its Armed Forces in a manner that will reduce its defence expenditure and at the same time enhance its defence capability. With the elimination of the high living of our rulers and of the thoughtless waste of the country's meager resources on unnecessary projects, we can bring about a dramatic change in health, education and other important sectors of our society. I addressed a well represented Press Conference on this subject some time ago, which was reported in most national newspapers. However it evoked little interest or comment. The fact that the elected representatives are not allowed to discuss the defence budget in the parliament did not appear to have been the subject of any debate. No one appeared to have thought that an opinion on such an important subject by one who has some knowledge of defence, merits attention. No national newspaper except one, thought it worthy of comment. A few days later, a leading English daily which had not reported my Press conference reported on its front page that the Prime Minister's grandson had been circumcised. For over half a century the dominance of the military in national affairs has given a place to the armed forces in the affairs of the nation that has not been easy to  change. United States obsession with its war on terrorism, which is likely to last for a long time, is likely to strengthen the temptation of the armed forces to interfere in the  political affairs of the country. The rot was started by Ghulam Mohammad who improperly dismissed the Constituent Assembly and took over as a virtual dictator. In this he had the backing of the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army who had his own ambitious. Eventually Ayub Khan got rid of Ghulam Mohammad and after a brief interval, when General Iskander Mirza took over as Governor General, he and the Army assumed full control of the affairs of the country. This was the first direct involvement of the Pakistan Army in politics and this has lasted off and on for over five decades. Powerful public pressure to limit the armed forces to their defence responsibilities under political direction has now brought about a change in the situation. We must now ensure that we discuss our defence requirements and insist that the people's representatives decide what these are. The media which is enjoying a level of freedom it has not known before, should play its part in educating public opinion on this vital national issue  and determine the relative importance of the circumcision of the Prime Minister's grandson and a reduction in the defence budget.