Pakistan against arms race in the region: PM Nawaz


KARACHI: (Parliament Times) Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said Pakistan was against an arms race in the region, however would pursue the motto of ‘arms for peace’.

Addressing at the inauguration of four-day ninth International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) here, the Prime Minister said Pakistan was committed to discouraging arms race and promoting “the motto of arms for peace, which has always been the tagline of IDEAS”.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan had achieved self-reliance in defence production and mentioned that IDEAS-2016 was a demonstration of collaboration of local and foreign technologies.

He said over 2,000 weapons system and equipment on display at the exhibition reflected broad-based participation of the country’s public and private sector in defence production, supported by research and development.

The Prime Minister said the country’s defence products were state-of-the-art and stood fully tested by its armed forces.

“Our defence products have made their mark in many countries of the world,” he said, adding there still existed many opportunities for further growth and exploration of new markets.

He said Pakistan was fast emerging producer of quality defence products.

“The promise of today’s Pakistan is brighter and reassuring than every before,” he said.

The Prime Minister invited foreign companies to expand their business linkages with Pakistan in the field of defence production.

He expressed Pakistan’s commitment for regional peace, saying that “we will explore the way forward for peace and stability in the world in general and our region in particular”.

Nawaz Sharif said the environment for foreign investment was encouraging in the country in view of improved law and order situation, besides power projects being completed on time.

He congratulated the organizers of sideline conferences during IDEAS 2016, which he said would facilitate exchanging technologies for mutual benefits and bringing together buyers and sellers – one of the core objectives of the country’s defence exhibitions.

Later, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the exhibition, flanked by Defence Minister Khwaja Asif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.

The Prime Minister also visited the stalls of the IDEAS exhibition where major indigenously developed products have been showcased including battle tank Al-Khalid, JF-17 Thunder, Super Mushshak and K-8 aircraft, Fast Attack Craft Missile boats, armoured personnel carriers and military hardware.

The Prime Minister was apprised that defence industries of Turkey, China, Russia, North America, South America, Europe and Asia had a significant presence at IDEAS 2016, while nine more countries were participating this time including Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Switzerland, Romania and

Thirty-four countries and a total of 418 companies are participating in IDEAS 2016, including 261 foreign and 157 Pakistani companies.

The exhibition will continue till November 25.