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National security encompasses food security, climate change: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised on regional peace and connectivity for poverty alleviation, economic growth and prosperity in the region.

Addressing the opening session of the first-ever two-day Islamabad Security Dialogue organised by National Security Division, the prime minister said Pakistan cannot fully benefit from its important geo-strategic location until there is peace in the region. 

He said national security has a wide scope encompassing food security, climate change, and poverty alleviation.  He said security forces have done a remarkable job to ensure peace in the country.

PM Imran Khan said the present government’s comprehensive social protection Ehsaas program will help alleviate poverty in the country. He said the government will launch a comprehensive program about food security. He added the Billion Tree Tsunami initiative has been appreciated globally.

The prime minister said the resolution of Kashmir dispute will greatly contribute to poverty alleviation and economic growth in the region. He said the present government took the initiative to improve ties with India but the efforts were not responded.

PM Imran Khan said India’s illegal and unilateral step of August 5, 2019 in occupied Kashmir took the bilateral relations to a deadlock position and India will now have to take the first step to mend ties. He said if India provides the Kashmiris their due right to self-determination, it will prove beneficial for India itself as well.

The prime minister said Pakistan made its best possible efforts for peace in Afghanistan. He said the opportunity for peace in Afghanistan must be seized by all stakeholders. He said the new US administration also gives importance to peace in Afghanistan which will promote economic activities in the region.

He underlined the need for debate on national security and said the input of intellectuals and academia will help relevant institutions devise national security policy which will also lead to national cohesion.

On the occasion, the prime minister also launched the first of its kind Advisory Portal of the National Security Division comprising of five think-tanks. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa will the guest of honour on the second day of the conference tomorrow.