COAS stresses need for public-private partnership in Pakistan's defence industry

RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa stressed on the need for enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors to transform Pakistan’s defence industry into a vibrant, self-reliant and self-sustained entity.

The army chief was speaking during the two-day national seminar “Defence Production – Security through Self Reliance” being held at the Army Auditorium in Rawalpindi.

Gen Bajwa said that, apart from public sector and defence production organisations, a fully integrated private sector was much needed in Pakistan’s defence industry.

“There is a need to amplify indigenization through fully integrated public and private organizations in defence production for meaningful progression in the defence of the country,” he said.

Gen Bajwa thanked participants for giving time to an important issue concerning national security.

According to a press release by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the seminar was aimed to pave way for self-reliance by exploring indigenous defence production potential, identifying organisational and institutional challenges of the defence industry, pragmatic solutions to optimise defence production, and recommending policy level measures to have the private sector fully immersed in defence production.

Members from different ministries, public and private organisations, chambers of commerce and industries, defence production establishments, and members from academia participated in the seminar.

According to the military’s media wing, representatives from the public sector suggested ways forward for public-private partnership in defence production.

Minister for Defence Production Zobaida Jalal and Minister for Science and Technology Chaudary Fawad Hussain shared their views and suggestions for the development of Pakistan’s defence industry into a prolific entity.

Representatives from the private sector also shared a roadmap for enhancing public-private partnership in defence production.

Advisor to PM on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, enlightened the participants on importance of an independent defence industry for national security.

The seminar concluded with policy level recommendations for the government based on the discussion and suggestions discussed during the two-day long sessions.

Major recommendations included the establishment of a taskforce under Prime Minister Imran Khan for a roadmap to facilitate indigenous defence production, establishing a raw material industry, incorporating the private sector for raw material base so as to optimally utilise public sector capacity for indigenous defence production, surplus defence potential for export, establishing ‘Digital Parks’ to tap software industry potential, and promoting research and development in universities.