LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan desires peace both within and outside its borders to attain the much-needed socio-economic development goals.
Pakistan, he said, could not afford to be distracted from trying to fulfil its national objectives. “Pakistan will never compromise on its sovereignty and independence.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a new building of the Pakistan Naval War College (PNWC) here on Friday, the prime minister said Pakistan Navy was playing a vital role in national defence and despite resource constraints the government would provide funds to strengthen maritime defence.
He said Pakistan was strategically located around the nucleus of the Arabian Sea and surrounded by three continents and over 50 coastal and hinterland states. Any ecological, social and political imbalance in the region casts a lengthening shadow throughout the area and also affects security and stability of Pakistan.
“We must always remain cognizant of our effective role in the maritime affairs of this region and be prepared to play our due role.”
The prime minister said that sea-lanes were jugular veins of world trade and any interruption in the waters had the potential of disrupting global economy and impacting global security.
Referring to indigenous building of warships by Pakistan Navy, he said he felt proud on learning that Pakistan Navy was building large indigenous warships and potent fast-attack craft through revival of the Karachi Shipyard.
He said the first national maritime doctrine was in final stages of completion.
Referring to economic initiatives of the government, the prime minister said his government was working to make Gwadar Port fully functional at the earliest and develop the Gwadar-Kashgar link, under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor portfolio, and construct an airport, an expressway link and a powerhouse in the area.
He said Gwadar would serve not only Pakistan’s maritime and economic requirements but also of the region.
Earlier, the prime minister unveiled the foundation plaque of the PNWC’s new building spread over 83,254 square feet.
Naval Chief Admiral Muhammad Zaka Ullah, senior bureaucrats and a large number of naval officers attended the ceremony.
APP adds: Mr Sharif appreciated the role of armed forces in fighting terrorism and said that they were eradicating the menace of terrorism from the country. He added that the nation was proud of tremendous sacrifices being rendered by the armed forces to achieve that objective.
Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2014