Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has taken the top military officials into confidence over ‘tough’ measures taken by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for improving and strengthening the country’s crippled economy.
The army chief, while presiding over the 22nd Corps Commanders’ Conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, briefed the forum about “difficult but extremely essential long-term beneficial measures” taken by the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to shore up the economy.
“Pakistan is on a positive trajectory of peace and development and shall carry forward the same towards enduring peace and prosperity,” Gen Qamar was quoted by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) as saying.
“Geo-strategic, regional and National Security environment including India, Afghanistan, Iran, ongoing internal security operations and actions against proscribed organisations were also discussed [at the moot],” it added.
The statement comes weeks after the government included the army chief in the National Development Council (NDC), formed to accelerate economic growth and improve coordination among the provinces and the federation.
The newly-formed body will set policies and chalk out strategies for development and also provide guidelines for improving regional cooperation, according to an official statement.
The chief ministers will also be invited to the council’s meetings, it added.
Last week, while addressing participants of a national seminar titled ‘Pakistan’s Economy: Challenges and Way Forward’, Gen Qamar had stated that there cannot be any sovereignty in the absence of economic autonomy.
“While the country is going through a difficult economic situation, everyone needs to fulfill their responsibilities so that the initiatives taken by the government succeed,” he added.
The seminar was organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA) at National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad on June 28.
The summit dilated on ways of overcoming budget deficit, low tax collection base, circular debt, loss-ridden public sector enterprises, fiscal indiscipline, undocumented economy, weak institutional capacity, low exports, meeting federal obligations within existing NFC arrangements and the perceptions surrounding the prevailing economic environment.
The army chief had endorsed the undeniable link between security and economy, stating both directly complement each other.