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Speakers urge to merge economic, security, development plans

Speakers urge to merge economic, security, development plans

ISLAMABAD: Speakers here at a panel discussion Friday underlined the need for merging Pakistan’s economic, security, and development plans into a national security strategy.The panel discussion was organized by the Institute for Policy Reforms here at COMSTECH premises to evolve a strategy for a long-term security and stability in Pakistan.  “We must put people at the centre of our security strategy,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Institute for Policy Reforms Humayun Akhtar Khan said.

He said security should be Pakistan’s top priority as it touched the life of every citizen and economic progress was not possible without that. “Safety, security, and prosperity are indivisible,” he said.He said the logic and nature of violence had evolved and war between two or more states was no longer the norm.

Neither violence has a clear beginning nor an end. What Pakistan faces today is a situation of neither war nor peace. A mix of external and internal factors are at play, he added. “Civil institutions and the whole country must contribute. Our methods too must change. We must find the reasons for disaffection and exclusion,” he remarked.
Humayun said Pakistan must strengthen its economy to meet defence needs. “We need an integrated approach with each part of the state fully on board with the plans of the other”, he said. Eminent analyst and columnist, General ® Talat Masood said since its creation, Pakistan had faced an existential challenge. “Pakistan has sought to balance the threat from India with global and regional alliances,” he said.Sustainable security will not come without a strong economy and reduction of dependence on foreign aid. We need to converge foreign, security, and economic policies.  Both civil and military leaders must develop a common strategy, he suggested.  He said Pakistan must work with other countries regarding the grave human rights violation in Indian occupied Kashmir.

Renowned writer Ahmed Rashid gave an overview of the regional situation. He said that military operations in FATA had brought dramatic improvements in its security.