In meeting with tycoons, Army chief stressed 'intimate' link between national security, economy: ISPR

Published October 3, 2019
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa says improved security situation has created "space for increased economic activity". — Photo courtesy: screengrab of video on DG ISPR's Twitter account
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa says improved security situation has created "space for increased economic activity". — Photo courtesy: screengrab of video on DG ISPR's Twitter account

The military's media wing on Thursday issued a formal statement about the much-talked-about meeting a day earlier between the army chief and some of Pakistan's most powerful business tycoons.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has reportedly told a group of businessmen that the country's "improved internal security environment" has "created space for increased economic activity".

ISPR said Gen Bajwa had made the remarks while addressing the business community and the government's economic team at the concluding session of a series of discussions and seminars titled 'Interplay of economy and security'.

The event had been held at the Army Auditorium in Rawalpindi, ISPR said. News media had reported that the businessmen had met the army chief at a dinner reception hosted by the latter.

The chief of army staff briefed the business community and the government's economic team over the improved security situation in the country, saying: "National security is intimately linked to the economy while prosperity is a function of a balance in security needs and economic growth."

"Accessibility and responsiveness of the government economic team to the business community and the displayed understanding between public and private institutions is a good sign for the desired positive trajectory in economic activity," Gen Bajwa, who is also part of the National Development Council, was reported to have told the audience.

The ISPR said that the seminars and discussions in question were held "in order to bring stakeholders on one platform to formulate recommendations for a synergistic way forward".

The government's economic team, on the other hand, had apprised the attendees about the initiatives and measures being taken by the government to facilitate business and stabilise the economy.

The business community also pitched in with its suggestions to improve ease of doing business.

The businessmen assured that they would cooperate with the authorities to ensure that government policies are implemented and would "play their part" by paying taxes and investing in a "socially and economically responsible manner".

The meeting had been a topic of much discussion on social media, with some questioning why the businessmen had approached the chief of army staff directly instead of approaching the civilian managers of the economy.

The press statement from the ISPR follows reports in the media that the businessmen in question had tabled their grievances with the government's economic team in front of the army chief.

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