RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa said on Friday that there cannot be any sovereignty in the absence of economic sovereignty, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations.

Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted on social media that the COAS said that the nation is going through a difficult economic situation.

The COAS was addressing a national seminar on “Pakistan’s Economy: Challenges and Way forward” was organised by Institute of Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA) at National Defence University (NDU).

“We all need to fulfill our responsibilities so that difficult initiatives taken by govt succeed. It’s time to be a nation”, tweeted the DG ISPR quoting the army chief.

The COAS said that the economy and security have an undeniable link and complement each other.

He said that Pakistan’s efforts in restoring regional peace will lead to better trade connectivity.

“We are going through difficult economic situation due to fiscal mismanagement. We have been shying of taking difficult decisions. Armed Forces played their part by voluntarily foregoing annual increase in defence budget and this is not the only step we are taking for improvement of economy. We understand that government has gone for difficult but quintessential decisions for long term benefits and what we are doing is playing our part. We all need to fulfill our responsibilities in this regard so that these difficult initiatives succeed. There are examples in recent past when other countries also confronted similar challenges and they came out successfully after taking difficult decisions. We shall also IA wade through these challenges,” he said.

The army chief said that it is time to unite and become one nation. ‘It’s time to be a nation’, COAS added.

The panel of speakers included Advisor to the Chief Minister of Punjab on Economic Affairs and Planning, Dr Salman Shah, Chairman FBR Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, and Dean and Director IBA Dr Farrukh Iqbal.

Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Almas Haider, Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan, Principal and Dean, School of Social Sciences & Humanities (NUST) chaired and moderated the seminar.

A large number economy experts, think tanks and representatives of business community attended the seminar, said the ISPR.