ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Friday said Pakistan would continue to develop its military potential as weakness invites aggression from stronger nations.
Addressing the soft launch of the prestigious military hardware exhibition - IDEAS-2012, PM Gilani said Pakistan's military capability was basically for deterrence purpose.
"Peace remains the ultimate cherished goal for us," Gilani told the gathering comprising the Services Chiefs, defence personnel and analysts.
The soft launch would lead to the holding of International Defence Exhibition and Seminar at Expo Centre Karachi from November 7 - 11, 2012 and would showcase Pakistan's rich potential in the defence industry.
He said Pakistan has developed indigenous capabilities for production of sophisticated weapon systems and equipment but said Pakistan does not wish to be dragged in an arms race as socio-economic well being of its people was on the top of the present government's agenda.
Gilani said Pakistan does not harbour any aggressive designs against any state, "but we are determined to defend our territorial integrity and safeguard our sovereignty".
He said it was the reason that Pakistan needs to maintain a balance in conventional forces suitably backed by a credible minimum deterrence.
He said Pakistan's defence industry after meetings its domestic requirements has now moved towards marketing products at the international level.
"Our arms, ammunition and more complex products like tanks and other armoured vehicles, air-launched munitions and aircraft related technology are of world class standards," Gilani said.
He said the national defence industry has a great potential to export its products on competitive basis in the world.
The prime minister said the dream of a stable peace remains unrealized and the world, at large, and the region in particular, have been challenged by the menace of terrorism and extremism.
He said Pakistan, due to its vital geo-strategic location and shift in the regional and global security environment, finds itself at the forefront of collective struggle against this new form of threat to the world peace.
"We, in Pakistan, are the worst affected victims of this formidable threat, which, as I have often said, is nameless, face-less, religion-less and region-less."
Gilani said Pakistan was determined to secure peace and stability in the region as well as beyond.
"Our armed forces and the people of Pakistan continue to make monumental sacrifices for a better tomorrow. Through these sacrifices both in human and material, we have added a glorious chapter in the annals of human history."
He urged the international community to support Pakistan's efforts to bring peace back to the region as early as possible.
"I assure you that we shall neither be found lacking in resolve nor in commitment. At the same time, we also expect our partners to show trust and understanding in this vital struggle," the premier said.
He said Pakistan has achieved phenomenal successes in the war against terrorism, however added that there was a need of addressing the root causes which are at heart of these problems.
He however said that a durable solution to this cancer lies in following a multi-pronged approach that on the one hand addresses the root causes and which also ensures well-being of people on the other.
"This is where I would ask the international community to come forward to lend helping hand in meeting these challenges, including the peaceful settlement of longstanding disputes."
Prime Minister Gilani said the government would ensure that the process of extensive reforms to strengthen state institutions and democracy continues unabated.
"There are strong reasons to believe that the government's socio-economic initiatives will help marginalize the extremist elements that thrive in an environment of ignorance and poverty."
He said it would help Pakistan emerge as an economically vibrant, truly democratic, socially tolerant and externally secure country, playing a significant role in the region as well as beyond.
The prime minister said the Armed Forces of Pakistan were battle hardened and known for their professionalism, the world over.
He mentioned their contribution towards the UN's peace-keeping missions and said their performance around the globe was a clear manifestation commitment to global peace and harmony.
He said holding of IDEAS was a reflection of the government's consistent efforts to galvanize the industrial activities for production of defence equipment through collaboration and joint ventures, in addition to the indigenous production.
He said the steady graph of IDEAS and its success suffered a slight dip, when, IDEAS-2010 had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour due to the unprecedented and devastating floods in the country.
"However, we are back in the business with renewed zeal and zest."
He wished the organizers success in the conduct of IDEAS-2012.
Gilani greeted Senior Minister for Defence Production and Industries Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne, and Major General Tahir Ashraf Khan, on organizing the mega event, that has become a global event in a short span of eleven years.
He said the event has become a great meeting place for defence exhibitors, high-level defence delegations, defence analysts and trade visitors from all over the world. (APP)