KARACHI, Dec 01, 2014 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) —
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the eighth edition of the biennial International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) at Expo Center in Karachi on Monday.
Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan welcomed the premier upon his arrival. Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan also accompanied the prime minister.
Inaugurating the four-day event, PM Sharif said,”I am pleased to witness the remarkable display of modern defense equipment and technology here. Pakistan can now claim to have sophisticated defense capability.”
Sharif renewed on the occasion the resolve to equip the country ‘s military with latest ammunitions for safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The prime minister said that Pakistan’s unique geo-strategic location calls for relentless efforts towards protection of its sovereignty and citizens, and is committed to providing its army with all the necessary resources for the mission.
“When resources were hurdled, our designers relied on innovation. Our endeavor was to consistently improve upon the basis of technologies employed in a weapon system and to give it added dimensions and capabilities,” the Pakistani premier stated.
“The IDEAS-2014 showcases a wide spectrum of defense systems, ranging from widely-improved versions of the equipments used and while also inviting attention to prospective developments in the times to come, ” he added.
“I have been told that there are more than 2,000 weapon systems displayed here today; many of these designed, developed and manufactured in Pakistan,” he noted.
Stressing for the need of developing new tools and gadgets to effectively deal with the emerging threats, PM Sharif said that threat to the national security has magnified with emergence of non-state actors including terrorists and computer hackers which can be tackled through use of the latest technology.
The prime minister also hailed the sacrifices rendered by the country’s armed forces in the U.S.-led War on Terrorism. He hoped that the ongoing military operation (Zarb-e-Azb) would help purge the country of terrorist elements.
Director General of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Air Commodore Mansoor Hussain Khan said on the occasion that Pakistan will soon get the ability to manufacture Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
Russia is participating in the four-day exhibition for the first time. Pakistan and Russia are expected to make several defense agreements during the exhibition. Apart from Russia, 88 delegations from 47 countries are taking part in one of the biggest defense products exhibition in the region.
The IDEAS-2014 is putting on display defense equipments and battlefield components like tanks, aircraft, APCs, ammunition, ship building and communications-related equipment of 232 defense companies from across the world.
Pakistan uses this event to showcase its indigenously developed products which include battle tank Al-Khalid, JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircraft, Armored Personnel Carriers, and missile boats.
Pakistan’s all-weather friend China has the biggest pavilion at the exhibition, followed by Turkey.
The inaugural day will also feature an international defense seminar later in the evening.
Apart from the exhibition, the participating companies and officials of various governments and defense products manufacturers are also expected to discuss new business ventures and forging alliances in defense production field.
Meanwhile, stringent security measures were adopted in the biggest metropolis of the country as foreign delegates and representatives visit the exhibition.
The top-notch security arrangements resulted in severe traffic jams in various parts of Karachi. Around a thousand vehicles were left stranded in the pileups on Rashid Minhas Road, Karsaz, Hassan Square, Nipa Chowrangi, and Shahrah-e-Faisal due to the VIP movement for the IDEAS-2014.