Food security a big challenge for Pakistan in coming decades,says Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD, March 17 :  It was time for Pakistan to get a stronghold of national security by expanding its domain inclusive of climate change, economic stability and food security, besides focusing on military strength said ,Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Addressing at the launch of the first annual Islamabad Security Dialogue themed ‘Together for Ideas’, the Prime Minister stressed the need for addressing the challenges of several non-traditional security threats confronting the general population.

“A secure State is where common people own it and believe that they have stakes in it,” he said, pointing that the “goals of national security could not be achieved in an environment with a handful of affluent and a sea of the poor populace”.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the country’s armed forces and law enforcement agencies for their “remarkable role in making the nation feel secure” during tough situations, particularly in the wake of 9/11. He termed food security a big challenge for Pakistan in the coming decades and expressed concern over the situation of importing 4 million ton of wheat in a year.

In April, he said, the government would launch a comprehensive strategy to address the availability of food through accurate mapping of the exact demand of the commodities. On economic prosperity, he said the dollar inflow must be consistently greater than dollar outflow in order to expand the national resource pie for its use for human welfare and robust defence.

On climate change, he warned that Pakistan was among the most vulnerable countries and said his government was making strenuous efforts in protecting the country. He mentioned the dedicated climate security programmes including the internationally acknowledged Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project and expressed satisfaction for its inclusion in the Comprehensive Security Framework.

Imran Khan said his government had prioritized human welfare through the Ehsaas programme where the largest cash transfers were made in the country’s history to the poor during a pandemic. On regional peace, he said economic prosperity could not be sustained without peace in the neighborhood, adding that Pakistan was poised to become a trade and transit hub for the extended region.

He mentioned that Pakistan was situated at the confluence of two big markets, namely Iran for petroleum and also Central Asia besides an economically strong China.

The Prime Minister called upon India to give Kashmiris their right to self-determination as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions. He said India’s unilateral and illegal action of August 5 had strained the environment for bilateral negotiations with Pakistan, adding that for an enabling environment, “India must take the first step forward”. Resolution of Kashmir through negotiation would be beneficial for both India and Pakistan, he said.

On Afghanistan, he said Pakistan had the highest stakes in the Afghan peace and vowed to continue extending assistance for the political settlement.


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