ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir on Friday emphasised the crucial connection between economic stability and the country’s sovereignty, and vowed to combat the disruptive effe­cts of social media trolls to prevent distractions from impeding national progress and development.

He was speaking at the Green Pakistan Initiative (GPI) Conference, hosted by the military at the Gen­eral Headquarters. The conference, attended by key civil and military officials including Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Federal Minister for National Food Security Rana Tanveer Hussain, showcased various agricultural advancements under GPI.

The GPI aims to revolutionise agriculture through the introduction of model farms, water management schemes, technology innovations, and investment partnerships. The initiative, launched in July last year, is aimed at ensuring food security and enhancing agricultural productivity across Pakistan.

The Fauji Foundation, through its subsidiary Fon­Grow, is leading the corporate farming initiative.

Gen Munir stated, “Complete independence is not possible without economic stability,” underscoring that economic growth is a foundational element for maintaining national sovereignty.

With the aggravation of country’s economic turmoil, the military has significantly broadened its role in economic domain. The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which aims to secure foreign investments and boost economic stability, exemplifies this trend. Moreover, the involvement of the military in facilitating major agreements with countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar shows the expanding economic influence of the military.

The army chief reassured military’s continued support for the economic development of the country, affirming that “Army will continue to provide all possible support for the economic development of Pakistan”.

Gen Munir used the occasion to highlight the military’s intensifying worries about the social media challenge. “Negative propaganda and social media trolls cannot distract us from working for the development and prosperity of Pakistan and its people,” he maintained In his remarks at the conference, he urged national unity against detractors, saying, “We are all a united team Pakistan… Inshallah with the cooperation and support of the people, all efforts of those who distract and obstruct Pakistan’s development journey will fail.”

The federal ministers, who participated in the conference, praised the “transformative potential” of the GPI. “The initiatives will introduce contemporary best practices in Pakistan’s agriculture sector,” they remarked.

Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2024

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