Speakers term economic progress mandated to peace in the country


ISLAMABAD, May 19 (APP):  “National security should be our top priority as it is correlated to economic progress of the country. Safety, security and prosperity are indivisible,” said Humayun Akhtar Khan Chairman and CEO, Institute for Policy Reforms during a panel discussion organized by the Institute here Friday to evolve a strategy for long-term security and stability in the country.
He said that our security strategy must be people centric and in the prevailing circumstances, a nation’s defence is no longer the responsibility of a single institution. All the civil institutions and the whole country must play their due role to ensure peace and progress of the country.  Investing in citizens’ security, justice, and jobs is essential to reducing violence, he said.
He said that we, as a nation, need to strengthen our economy to meet defence needs. He said we must merge our economic, security and development plans into a national security strategy, having an integrated approach with each part of the state.
Eminent analyst and columnist, General Talat Masood, said that since its creation, Pakistan has faced an existential challenge. Pakistan has sought to balance the threat from India with global and regional alliances.
He said that Sustainable security will not come without a strong economy and reduction of dependence on foreign aid. We need to converge our foreign, security and economic policies. Both civil and military leaders must develop a common strategy as there was a link between internal and external security, he added
Renowned writer Ahmed Rashid gave an overview of the regional situation. He said that military operations in FATA have brought dramatic improvements in its security.
A thought provoking discussion followed the presentations by a knowledgeable group of participants comprising serving and former defence officers, diplomats, officers, academia and the media persons.
APP/ Saeeda/anm