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Country defence strategy being 'modernised': PM Nawaz

19 December, 2013

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KAMRA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday the country's defence strategy was being devised keeping in view the contemporary professional requirements, as no battle could be won with outdated technology and discarded strategies.

"The new technology and modern expertise have transformed our defence into a great force ... We want that our defence forces should be ever ready for any contingency," he said at the roll-out ceremony of the 50th JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra. The prime minister expressed satisfaction that the country's military leadership was fully cognisant of the changing environment and was following an agreed and well-integrated approach.

"For this reason, we want to ensure that our forces are alert, active and fully equipped with necessary professional skills," he added. Nawaz said the day marked a glorious milestone in the history of country's aviation industry as well as in the national quest for development and progress. He congratulated chief of the air staff and his team on the successful completion of in-country production of first batch of 50 JF-17 aircraft.

He said proud accomplishments marked the history of Pakistan Air Force, showing bravado, commitment and courage. He said the skill and passion of 'flying falcons' to conquer the skies assured that the country's aerial frontiers were safe and secure. He said the proficiency of PAF was not limited to the air alone, but it was equally competent to show its mettle in the fields of aircraft manufacture, radar and even the drone technology. The prime minister said the whole world acknowledged the acumen and potential of Pakistan's soldiers and it was because of this potential that he had approved the JF-17 project in his previous tenure.

Nawaz said he was immensely proud that this project had successfully reached its completion, and the PAF professionals had met the expectations of the nation. The JF-17 aircraft, he said, had not only strengthened the country's defence but also led to the growth of aviation industry. He pointed out that several political and economic compulsions came in the way of project during his last tenure. "But we approved this project disregarding all those pressures as the needs of our armed forces and the defence of the country was our priority. I reiterate my word of honour that even today the defence of the country is as dear to me as it was at that time," he added.

Prime Minister Nawaz said Pakistan desired peaceful relations with neighbouring countries, particularly India and Afghanistan. "Pakistan's intentions towards its neighbours are positive and expects similar reciprocity from them," he said. He welcomed the upcoming meeting of the directors general military operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India on December 24. He said Pakistan and China were effectively translating their friendly and brotherly relations into development projects for the mutual benefit of their people.

The premier mentioned the Pakistan China Economic Corridor project, which would link Gwadar to China through Khunjrab Pass and said that economic zones would be set up along the Corridor. Nawaz Sharif said cheap labour in Pakistan would also contribute to the smooth materialisation of projects with China.

End.

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