Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Saturday that Pakistan’s economic future is tied to the success of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with Gwadar Port as its “main element” and that to achieve this goal, the role of the Navy Pakistani was essential.
During the passing out parade of the 117th Midshipman and 25th Short Commission’s course at the Pakistan Naval Academy in Karachi earlier in the day, he stressed that the need for a “strong and dynamic” navy was become more important than ever due to the growth of the blue economy, maritime security and strategic defense.
“The maritime domain is constantly evolving due to technological advancements and shifting geopolitical realities,” the prime minister said, noting that these changes were happening both globally and regionally.
“And I am happy that the Pakistan Navy, with its available resources, continues to accomplish and fulfill its international obligations in the most efficient manner,” he remarked.
Prime Minister Shehbaz stressed that economic progress in the country can only take place in a peaceful environment. “So it is our government’s resolve to make available all necessary resources to strengthen the Pakistan Navy to make maritime defense impregnable.”
He further commended the Navy for rapidly developing its local capabilities and expanding joint ventures with neighboring countries.
“Let me assure you that the nation stands behind you and will ensure that the Pakistan Navy is equipped with the latest technology and equipment to protect our maritime interests.”
“Pakistan’s desire for peace is not a sign of weakness”
Pakistan, the Prime Minister continued, believed in “peaceful coexistence and wished to promote a friendly neighborhood”. “We have no aggressive designs against any country. However, our desire for peace should not be interpreted as a sign of weakness or indifference.
“Any disguised or unnatural arrangement for supremacy would neither succeed nor serve the goal of peace and stability,” he stressed.
The prime minister went on to say that those who have attempted to threaten Pakistan’s land, air and sea defense over the past few years have gotten an “appropriate response from us” and “this should serve as a reminder to all who nurture bad intentions that the Pakistani armed forces are fully capable of defending the country against all threats”.
He recalled that Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah envisioned Pakistan as an economically robust, militarily strong and socially cohesive country. “Our founding father wanted Pakistan to become a model for the Islamic world and all developing nations of the world.”
The country’s journey, Prime Minister Shehbaz admitted, has been one of “missed opportunities” with several obstacles over the past 75 years. “But it’s never too late,” he remarked.
“I firmly believe that if we can learn from our mistakes and resolve to make up for lost time, we can still turn Pakistan into the country dreamed up by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.”