ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Prof Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said that unprecedented consensus existed among political and military leadership to defeat extremism and peace and stability were prerequisite for development.
He said this while chairing a session of Peace and Development Forum on “Making Peace an Integral Part of Development Planning in Pakistan” organized by the Peace and Development Unit in the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.
“The Prime Minister has led efforts to create consensus among the political and military leadership of the country to deal with extremism and terrorism because peace and stability are pre-requisite to achieving development goals” Ahsan added.
He emphasized on creating unity and collaborative, inclusive and holistic development approach for peace.
The Minister said that Pakistan Vision 2025 also identified peace as a necessary enabler for development.
He said that realizing the importance, the Planning Commission established the Peace and Development Unit to raise awareness importance of peace for developmen among people.
He added the key objective of the Forum was to get expert input for turning Peace and Development concepts and Programs into implementation through collaborative efforts of academia, civil society and policy makers.
The Minister pointed out that there were multiple fault lines and hotspots which needed to be indentified to prevent conflicts from occurring in proactive mode.
“External and internal forces are trying to destabilize the country by striking at these fault lines” he said.
He identified that Karachi, Balochistan and FATA all had different dimensions and context of conflict.
“So one-size-fit solution to these multiple threats is not possible”, he said.
Ahsan said that peace and development Unit would act pro-actively to forecast early warning signs and resolution of any conflict.
Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said that the country’s future was tied to economic performance and turning the youth bulge into asset.
“Otherwise all vulnerabilities and conflicts can hamper our efforts for development” he said.
The Minister said that our goal is to have inclusive development for creating chances for resolving conflicts.
He pointed out that the so-called decade of development in the 60s sowed the seeds of separation in one wing of the country due to lack of inclusiveness.
The Peace and Development Forum was attended by prominent scholars, practitioners and experts from development, security sector and other key stakeholders.