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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that national security is all-encompassing and is not possible without inclusive growth.

Addressing at a “Margalla Dialogue 2021” organised by the Institute of Policy Studies, the prime minister said that so far, the country’s focus has been on military but all know that national security is all-encompassing and national security is not possible if there is no an inclusive growth.

He said that no country can become secure where a small class gets richer and the others are left behind.

He said that a country cannot become secure where an area, one or two cities or a province is developed and the remaining areas were left behind.

The prime minister said that unequal development always is the cause of violence, protest, and disruption. He said that three parallel education systems are source of disharmony in society and this has been happening because of absence of research. There is a need to talk about all-encompassing national security.

He said once Pakistan was rapidly growing in Asia and then there was deterioration of it. There are many reasons but one of them was the absence of the rule of law, which is also a precondition for democracy. He said that corruption is the symptom of absence of rule of law.

Extremism: PM says using force not a solution

The premier said that there is a lack of research in Pakistani society and this is why original thinking was not developed. As a result, Pakistan was living on second-hand knowledge from abroad. He said that Afghanistan is a classic case that how a country (Pakistan) that suffered collateral damage for allying in the US war in Afghanistan, yet got blamed for the failures of the US. He said that Pakistan has made so many sacrifices by participating in the US war in Afghanistan and no other country who had joined US war suffered 80,000 casualties as Pakistan did, and over three to four million people are internally displaced and economic loss was over US$100 billion.

Despite all this, Pakistan was being portrayed in the Western newspapers during the last 10 to 12 years as playing a double game and was being made a scapegoat of the US and other countries’ mistakes in Afghanistan. “We were unable to respond appropriately to the Western propaganda because there was no think tank in the country to feed the leadership,” he said adding that the US was expecting too much from Pakistan in terms of winning the war in Afghanistan, while Pakistan was trying to protect itself from the destruction as a result of its support to the US in Afghanistan.

The prime minister said this was a very bleak time and a humiliation for Pakistan that despite, being an ally of the US, it was being bombed by the US drones and people were killed.

He said that there was a vacuum of intellectual leadership and people were also divided in two opinions, for and against of the US attack in Afghanistan.

He said similarly, on the issue of Islamophobia, there were no think tanks in the Muslim-majority countries to respond that there is no correlation between terrorism and Islam. He said that the Muslim living in the Western countries faced difficulties during that period but unfortunately, there was no response from the leadership of the Muslim-majority countries to Islamophobia.

The prime minister said that India was not being criticised by the Western countries over what it was doing in the Occupied Kashmir and for the racism, if there would have been think tanks in Muslim-majority countries they would have highlighted the Indian atrocities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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