Bajwa’s vision for defence industry

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TO further expand the base of defence industry with the aim to achieve self-reliance and bolster defence-related exports, there is growing realization now and aptly so to involve the private sector in defence production. Virtues of the same were expressed at a National Seminar organized by Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi on Friday wherein Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also articulated his vision regarding indigenisation of the defence industry. He stressed for enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors to transform the country’s defence industry into a vibrant, self-reliant and self-sustained entity.
We also have before us very successful models of public partnership in defence production in the shape of the US and UK that pursued the same course to modernize their forces and to meet changing military threats under reduced budgets. Pakistan can also achieve the same level of success with the right kind of approach and intervention and in our view, both the civilian and military leadership need to collectively lead efforts towards that end. Over the years, Pakistan’s defence industry has grown significantly and boasts of a wide range of military hardware. This includes major weapon systems such as armoured fighting vehicles, fighter and trainer aircraft, frigates, patrol boats, cruise missiles, intermediate range missiles, electronic and optronic devices and communication equipment. Pakistani products command the confidence of our military and have also found limited markets abroad. However, there are still major challenges that confront defence production that can be addressed by making the private sector a partner in true sense. The National Seminar also came up with some concrete suggestions to achieve that goal including the formation of a task force headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan for a roadmap to facilitate indigenous defence production. Indeed this task force must include all key stakeholders including the Army Chief, heads of organizations producing defence products and the representatives of private sector to charter such a way forward that ensures a reliable domestic supply of technology and systems which also contributes to the country’s overall industrial and technological development. The private sector can also play a major role in introducing the latest technologies, modern management practices and contemporary financial management in our defence production entities as well as greatly assist in exploring markets for the export of our state-of-the-art defence products. We are confident that Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa will continue his efforts towards putting the defence industry on a strong footing and make it the engine of growth.

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