Arms production to cater to security concerns, says Mukhtar
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Federal Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar has said that the aim of the development of the defence industry is self-reliance in the field of defence production, and meeting the arms and ammunition needs of defence forces, and help Pakistan meet its security concerns-the solitary aim being peace and stability.
Speaking as chief guest at the International Defence Seminar at a local hotel on Monday, Mukhtar said that the exhibition signified a step towards indigenisation, industrial development and a base for joint ventures. He stated that through IDEAS, Pakistan’s defence industry got the advantage of demonstrating its defence production capability and exposing it to the outside world.
The defence minister said that it is through the forum of IDEAS that friends of Pakistan from the developed world as well as from the Afro-Asian and Middle Eastern countries could explore the possibilities of defence and industrial cooperation with Pakistan.
“Given this complex environment and ever changing security dynamics, the role played by defence production in Pakistan needs to be fully appreciated. Since 1951, Pakistan has remained committed to meeting its objectives of maximum base for self-reliance, accelerated pace of technological development, identification, integration and utilisation of available industrial potential in the public and private sector, production and procurement of defence equipment and maintenance of defence stores,” he said.
The defence minister also quoted the instances of successful defence and industrial collaboration in which Pakistan has succeeded in indigenisation and joint ventures- Agosta 90 B Submarine (Pakistan-France), HIT (Pakistan-China and Pakistan-US) and aircraft manufacturing facility PAC Kamra (Pakistan-China and Pakistan-Sweden). He also pointed out that in a world where regional integration is leading the way towards globalisation, the defence industry plays a critical role in bringing innovation and spurring industrial development in the field of dual use technologies paving the way for the emerging defence markets. “However, we have to remain cognizant of the effects of non-tariff barriers and the balance of responsibility between the developed and developing countries.”
In this context, it was reiterated that defence trade offsets can help developing countries to strike a balance between trade, social responsibilities and self defence, he added.
Mukhtar said that the need of the hour is that developed and the developing world come together for humanity and peace. He said that the purpose is to serve the right to life and that is made possible if nations are in charge of their defence and defence requirements. He also spoke of Pakistan’s role as a frontline state in the global war against terror and also pointed out that “we fight this war in an effort to bring safety and security to the global order”.
“In these testing times we have remained focused on our aims and our resolve to fight the menace of terrorism, but the help and the support which has been extended to us by our neighbouring countries and other stakeholders has been far less than the desired,” he said adding that remaining steadfast in fighting this global phenomenon of terror against these odds has not been easy.
Hence, the IDEAS 2008 is to be dealt with utmost urgency, priority and importance as it sends a strong signal to all developing countries of low and middle order that despite insurmountable structural constraints, security impediments, progress and development can be achieved if the resolve for self-defence is kept alive.
Director General of the Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO), Maj-Gen Muhammad Farooq, said that the case of Pakistan defence industry has been a success story. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Gen Tariq Majeed, was also present.