Home South Asia Pakistan It’s time to be a nation: General Qamar Javed Bajwa

It’s time to be a nation: General Qamar Javed Bajwa

On the current economic situation, the COAS said: “We are going through difficult economic situation due to fiscal mismanagement. We have been shying of taking difficult decisions,” he said, adding that the armed forces played their part by voluntarily foregoing annual increase in defence budget and this was not the only step that was taken for improvement of the economy.

Qamar Javed

News Desk |

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has endorsed the undeniable linkage between security and economy as both directly complement each other, saying there cannot be any sovereignty in the absence of economic sovereignty.

“In difficult times no individual alone can succeed unless the nation comes together unitedly. It’s time to be a nation,” the army chief said. While giving examples of recent past when other countries confronted similar challenges and successfully came out of difficult situations after taking difficult decisions, he hoped that Pakistan would also wade through the challenges.

Talking about regional connectivity, Gen Bajwa reiterated his vision that countries cannot develop individually, it’s the region which develops.

The COAS also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts for restoring regional peace that will lead to better trade connectivity. Talking about regional connectivity, Gen Bajwa reiterated his vision that countries cannot develop individually, it’s the region which develops. For our region to develop, he said, Pakistan needs to have greater regional connectivity amongst all neighbours.

The army chief along with the Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Chairman FBR Syed Shabbar Zaidi, and others expressed their views at a seminar on “Pakistan’s Economy: Challenges and Way forward”. The seminar was organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA) at National Defence University (NDU).

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On the current economic situation, the COAS said: “We are going through a difficult economic situation due to fiscal mismanagement. We have been shying of taking difficult decisions,” he said, adding that the armed forces played their part by voluntarily foregoing annual increase in defence budget and this was not the only step that was taken for improvement of the economy.

“We understand that the government has gone for difficult but quintessential decisions for long term benefits and what we are doing is playing our part. We all need to fulfil our responsibilities in this regard so that these difficult initiatives succeed,” he said.

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Lack of will to take difficult decisions in the past led to current situation: Hafeez Shaikh

In his keynote address, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh dilated upon reasons which resulted in increasing the challenges. He counted perpetual security threats, inconsistent economic policies, poor economic discipline and lack of will to take difficult decisions in the past as major contributors to the economic situation the government is facing today.

 General Qamar Javed Bajwa has endorsed the undeniable linkage between security and economy as both directly complement each other.

The speakers shared views on different ways of overcoming the budget deficit, low tax collection base, circular debt, loss-ridden public sector enterprises, fiscal indiscipline, undocumented economy, weak institutional capacity, low exports, meeting federal obligations within existing NFC arrangements and the perceptions surrounding the prevailing economic environment.

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“Nation’s military strength rests on its economic strength”

The panel of speakers included Dr Salman Shah, Advisor to the Chief Minister of Punjab on Economic Affairs and Planning, Dr Farrukh Iqbal, Dean and Director IBA, Dr Abid Qaiyum, the Executive Director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Almas Haider, the president Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan, Principal and Dean at the School of Social Sciences & Humanities (NUST). NUST’s Dr Khan chaired and moderated the seminar.

In his introduction, Dr Khan highlighted the linkage of economy and security. “A nation’s military strength rests on its economic strength,” he quoted, Paul Kennedy – a British historian specializing in the history of international relations and economic power. “Security means development and without development, there is no security,” he quoted Robert McNamara, the former president of World Bank.

He was of the view that economy matters for security, adding that if the economy is weak then the country’s national security will weaken. A large number of economic experts, think tanks and representatives of the business community attended the seminar.

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