Bilawal urges reset in thinking to safeguard and bolster national security

Addresses IDEAS-2022 defence exhibition in Karachi: Says in this age of fake news and disinformation, threats to national security have increased: Opines national security is a dynamic concept that is economic, political, social, institutional, military and strategic in nature: Internal consolidation alone can lead our nation to secure core economic foreign policy and security interests: Urges institutions to work within their domains: Says politicians need to discuss issues at parliament, calls upon them to move from constant state of flux and focus on issues of national importance: Says climate change can reverse all sustainable development goals and is most potent national security threat that may deepen conflicts: Says Pakistan wants climate justice

By: News Desk
Published: 10:06 AM, 15 Nov, 2022
Bilawal urges reset in thinking to safeguard and bolster national security
Caption: TV grab.
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Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that in this age of fake news and disinformation, the threats to national security have increased manifold, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto stated this while addressing the opening session of the 11th Edition of International Defense Exhibition IDEAS-2022 held at the Expo Center in Karachi on Tuesday. 

Federal Minister for Defence Production Muhammad Israr Tareen, Sindh Chief Minster Syed Murad Ali Shah and high civil and military official attended the inaugural ceremony.

During his address, Bilawal said ‘with the rapid technological advancement and proliferation of knowledge we are witnessing a rapid change in the established security paradigm. And in this globalized world, the national security has emerged as a dynamic concept that is as much economic, political, social and institutional as its military and strategic in nature’. 

Bilawal stressed that in this age of fake news and disinformation, the threats to national security have increased manifold.

“To safeguard and strengthen national security, the best way is to achieve economic self-reliance, rebuild and strengthen political institutions, deliver the 21st century governance, ensure rule of law, and put the people at the centre of public policy,” the foreign minister said adding that it required much needed reset in our thinking as well as the way we conducted business with the state. 

 

He said internal consolidation could alone lead our nation to secure its core economic foreign policy and security interests and to achieve that, each institution should work within not only its constitutional domain but primary focus on their objectives and their national goals. 

He said for example, he was a politician, a parliamentarian and his job was to represent his constituency people in the parliament as he was answerable to parliament, to his president. But it was not his job to lash out at his opponents on streets or in public arena. He said parliament was a forum where all issues needed to be discussed. He called upon moving from constant state of flux and focus on issues of national importance. 

In his keynote address, Foreign Minister Bilawal also underlined the need to get climate justice in the aftermath of calamitous floods that were caused by climate change and hit Pakistan despite the fact that the country has very negligible carbon footprints.  

At the start of his speech, the young minister elaborated numerous challenges, the new coalition government had to face soon after it took reins of power.

Bilawal said soon after its installation, the coalition government was beset with various challenges, the biggest one was stabilization of country’s economy. We inherited a ruined economy where Pakistan was at the precipice of default. But by the grace of God and efforts of the unity government, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and our financial team, Pakistan was saved from falling into economic crisis. 

He said that the economic crisis was deepened with the Covid-19 outbreak. The economic impact also aggravated by conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he added.

He said still the government managed to mitigate the effects of these challenges. He maintained ‘governments come and go but we should not compromise on the fundamentals of our national economic policies’. 

He said the government was working hard on stabilizing economy, improving diplomatic relations with other countries which also resulted in our removal from FATF grey list, but at that juncture Pakistan was hit by the worst ever climatic catastrophe. 

He said the monstrous monsoon rains put 1/3rd of our land under water. 33 million people among whom 16 million children were affected by the floods. He stated that the backbone of our economy i.e. agriculture sector was devastated. The total financial loss incurred by floods was estimated more than $32 billion which is 10% of our total GDP. 

Bilawal said given the scale of destruction, we were pushed back by decades. “But in every crisis, there is an opportunity. We must invest in climate resilient efforts in less developed and rural areas. In our interaction with world especially in recently concluded COP27 we underlined the need to take global action against climate change as a priority”, he added. 

He said as the chair at G77 plus China, we have led the demands for climate finance and climate justice to enable developing countries to cope with climate adaptation and mitigate challenges of the climate changes. 

He said Pakistan successfully projected the climate change effects in both the COP27 and G77 moots. 

He said Pakistan which bore a loss of more than 10% to its GDP in the wake of catastrophic floods realized that there was no international financing mechanism for loss and damage of this scale and after bearing all this loss, Pakistan called upon other countries to add this financial mechanism to the COP27 agenda. 

Though it was too late for Pakistan to benefit from the financial mechanism devised for climate risk countries, but the next developing country to be affected by the climate change would be benefited from it, he added. 

Bilawal was of the opinion that climate change has the potential to reverse all sustainable development goals. It is the most potent national security threat that might deepen conflicts, he added. 

He also discussed the food crisis faced by many countries saying the spectre of rising global food prices was putting immense strain on national cohesion and unity. 

On production of defence paraphernalia, the foreign minister said that the government was encouraging private sector’s participation in defence production. “We are improving relations with all countries under foreign policy,” he said.

Earlier, at the start of his speech, Bilawal welcomed all foreign dignitaries and other participants who attended the event. He said it was an honour for him to address the International Defence Exhibition IDEAS-2022.

The international companies related to defence industry from all over the world including America, Russia and China are taking part in the IDEAS-22. A large number of senior civil and military delegations and trade visitors would also witness the exhibition.

The defence exhibition will continue for four days.

Defence Export Promotion Organization has arranged the exhibition, which brings together defence industries from across the globe to showcase their latest technological innovations.

The Karachi traffic police released a traffic plan for the fair. According to the plan, both tracks of Sir Shah Salman road will remain closed for traffic. The traffic police requested the citizens to use alternate routes. 

Reporter Samar Abbas