KARACHI: Stressing the need for investments to meet the future security and economic needs of the country, chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Khalid Shameem Wynne reiterated that Pakistan’s defence forces and their preparedness were purely security driven.
Speaking at a seminar ‘Security Outlook 2025 : Future Security Trends and Challenges for Defense Industry in Mounting Technological Response,’ held as part of the IDEAS 2012 defence exhibition in Karachi, the CJCSC said that the security scenario at the regional and global level is undergoing a major transformation, which has strategic implications for Pakistan.
Due to the complexity and uncertainty the security challenges bring, Gen Wynne said that Pakistan’s defense industry needs to develop a response that is proportionate to challenges that lie ahead.
Noting that IDEAS 2012 provides a platform to exhibit latest and sophisticated weapons deployed in the field, Gen Wynne said the exhibition featuring exhibitors from 56 countries would also provide an interactive opportunity for the armed forces to review their defence needs.
The CJCSC underlined the need for making investments to meet future security and economic challenges to the country, adding that the possibility of state-to-state conflicts in the future cannot be totally eliminated. Thus, he emphasised, it is a global responsibility to address security concerns.
Technology plays role in defence capabilities
General (Retd) Ehsanul Haq, presiding over the first session of the seminar said that this international seminar was meant to discus the current and emerging security trends. He said that Pakistan was confronted with daunting security challenges. He highlighted the front line role of Pakistan in global war against terror especially in this region and that the Pakistan armed forces are very much cognizant of the country’s sovereignty.
Gen Haq said that science and technology did contribute in building defence capacity, but given the fast paced nature of technological change, it would be perfectly natural to expect significantly new technologies to develop. Some of these technologies, Haq pointed out would alleviate our security and threat concerns, while others may enhance them.
Steve Coll from US speaking on ‘ Technology and the Future of War’ said that recent developments have generated a debate about how computers, satellites, lasers and other next-generation military technologies will shape doctrine, warfare and global power. One notable aspect of this evolution, according to him,was that how rapidly it had occurred.
Ye Hailin from China, Chief Editor of South Asia Studies,deliberated upon ‘ 2025 Outlook : Dual-Use Space Technology for the Future of Military Technology and Implications’,. He highlighted the importance of space based capabilities and stated that space technology and space assets were essential for the modern military systems. In fact, he said, the current military technology advantages were basically relying on space science and technology dominance. He was of the opinion that space weaponisation would be inevitable,in the wake of the current trajectory of technological advances and doctrinal evolution.
Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to USA, in her presentation titled ‘ Challenge of Uncertainty : Pakistan’s Response and Defense Industry in an Era of Transition’, made the point that Pakistan’s geo-political location and volatile neighborhood had placed it at the centre of many regional storms. In this context, she said that regional developments could accentuate Pakistan’s security anxieties and will have to be factored in for the direction and evolution of the defense industry.
Muharrem Dortkasli, CEO Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI), in his presentation on ‘Future Challenges and Paradigm Shift for Defence and Aerospace Industries’ said that new dangers are developing, which will challenge the mindset and the practices for safeguarding freedom. For becoming able to sustain their competitive advantage, he opined, industries need a paradigm shift in an era where an organisation’s value is determined by its intellectual assets.
Earlier, Director General DEPO, Major General Tahir Ashraf Khan,in his opening remarks, said that the altered security environment,particularly the danger of asymmetric warfare, posed a gigantic challenge to the armed forces in this altered security paradigm. He added that IDEAS aims to bring the intellectual debate forward to a meaningful start towards achieving peace and stability.