- The COAS says that the Pakistani nation has the potential to reach the top.
- “No power in the world can stop Pakistan from developing.”
- The Prime Minister says that agricultural development will bring the country at par with the developed countries.
Islamabad: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir has assured the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led (PDM) coalition government of the military’s full support for the country’s economic development.
Addressing the National Seminar on Agriculture and Food Security at the Jinnah Convention Center in Islamabad on Monday, the army chief said: “Being an institution, we assured [government] Every possible cooperation for the economic progress of Pakistan.
He extended full support of the Army to all initiatives undertaken under the purview of the Special Investment Facilitation Council, including the Green Pakistan initiative launched today.
General Munir said, “Allah Almighty has blessed Pakistan with many resources.” “We are a capable nation with the potential to rise to the top,” he said.
He emphasized that everyone should contribute to its development and expressed confidence that Pakistan will achieve progress and development and no power in the world can stop that from happening.
The army chief also said that they have come together to make Pakistan green once again.
Addressing the event, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the Green Pakistan initiative would bring about a second agricultural revolution in the country and create 4 million jobs.
He said agriculture is the backbone of the country and farmers have worked hard to provide food to millions of Pakistanis.
He said that the farmers would be remembered in history as the builders of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister also said that the promotion of the agriculture sector is the right of the farmers and it is the responsibility of the present government to provide all possible help to them. “Farmers work hard but it is common knowledge that they are facing a paucity of resources.”
The Prime Minister further said that the growth in agriculture sector will take Pakistan at par with the developed countries.
He said Pakistan’s progress lies in hard work, adding that the Green Revolution in the 1960s was due to the introduction of new varieties of seeds, the construction of dams and canals, and modern agricultural practices.
PM Shahbaz said that farmers should get more profit than the cost of production of their crops including wheat. He said that the government increased the support price of wheat which resulted in record production of wheat.
He is hopeful that the production of cotton will also increase with the encouragement given by the government.
He said that it is the responsibility of the government to provide better seeds, fertilizers and pesticides to the farmers and to equip them with the latest technology.
PM lauded the new agriculture initiative for giving real-time information about pest attacks. He expressed concern over the adulterated medicines given to the farmers and warned of action against the culprits.
He appreciated the vision of the Army Chief for the development of agriculture sector. “We must implement the vision of agriculture through collaboration between federal and provincial governments, agriculture departments and research institutions.”
He said that the government is ready to fund agricultural research centres. “Unfortunately, research centers are not doing any meaningful work and have become victims of a culture of favoritism.”
He further said, state-owned enterprises are losing 600 billion rupees every year and the economy is suffering. “Pakistan imports palm oil worth $4.5 billion which is a burden on the national economy.”
He said that there was a time when Pakistan was producing more cotton than its neighboring country, but then it derailed and is now producing less of the main crops. “Pakistan cannot afford more foreign debt but is forced to save its economy from default by obtaining loans from friendly countries.”
The PM said that the Gulf countries are ready to invest in the agriculture sector and bring modern machinery to boost crop production.
He also said, “Pakistan needs political stability to attract investment as investors shy away in an unstable environment.”
Pakistan can attract investment of $40 to 50 billion in the coming years and export food to Gulf countries which are currently importing food products worth $40 billion.
He was of the view that Pakistan would have to compete with the world and increase its exports and the economy of Pakistan would revive in the coming two years. “It is our national security demand that food security and economic security of the country be strengthened.”
– With additional input from the APP.