Today we have a much improved security, says COAS Gen Qamar Bajwa
KARACHI (92 News) – Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that today we have a much improved security situation on the internal front. The challenges to the state’s writ have been defeated, though residual threat still resides. The situation is stable but there is apparent fragility at places.
Addressing a seminar on ‘Interplay of Economy and Security’ on Wednesday, he said: “Therefore, we need a comprehensive effort to pursue National Action Plan and remove vulnerabilities well before they turn into threats. Many of the planned measures, if implemented timely, will contribute directly to the economic and even political stability of the country. Police and judicial reforms are obvious examples. Madrassah reforms are also vital. We cannot afford to leave a large segment of our youth with limited options. Madrassahs must enable their students to become useful members of the society who are not left behind in any field of life.”
He said that at the micro level, nothing exemplifies the linkage between economy and security better than the city of Karachi itself. “Karachi – the economic capital of Pakistan – generates a significant part of our revenue. When our enemies want to choke Pakistan, they try to destabilize Karachi because when Karachi bleeds, Pakistan bleeds.
“It is because of this sensitivity, that peace in Karachi has been our top priority. We have worked very hard to restore peace and now hope that economic activity would return at a fast pace, Insha Allah.”
The COAS said: “In order to maintain sustainable growth and progress, we must ensure law and order in the entire country. At the macro level, this relationship between security and economy is intricate, and therefore solutions are more complex. Today, Pakistan is a strategically challenged state. External actors are attempting to assert control and dictate our security priorities that have strong linkages with our economic future. The centrepiece of this effort is China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“This corridor is not just a collection of infrastructure and power projects – it is in fact a complete development platform that has the potential to act as a powerful springboard for shared development in the entire CASA (Central Asia-South Asia) region.
“However, the completion of the project and, more importantly, optimization of its socio-economic dividend for Pakistan and the region hinges on one word: ‘security’. This is the future of our people, a vital national interest on which we will never compromise, regardless of the loudness of opposing voices. It is also an example of regional cooperation and a break from politics of confrontation – we want all to benefit from this project.”
The COAS said: “With a belligerent India on our East and an unstable Afghanistan on our West, the region remains captive due to historical baggage and negative competition. But on our part, we are making a deliberate and concerted effort to pacify the western border through a multitude of diplomatic, military and economic initiative, not to mention the phenomenal boost to human security that we have provided in FATA and surrounding areas. In fact, what we have done in FATA and started in Balochistan could easily be termed as the best example of a holistic approach to security. We have also expressed and demonstrated our genuine desire to have normal and peaceful relations with India, however, it takes two to tango.”