THE 10th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) is underway in Karachi, bringing together all the industry’s players across the globe to showcase the latest technological innovations in defence sector. Pakistan has regularly been hosting the strategically important event in the backdrop of the reality that Asian region is one of the largest markets for defence products and the governments allocate significant budgets for modernization and up-gradation programs for their armed forces.
With the passage of time, Pakistan has emerged as one of the quality manufacturers and suppliers of the defence arms and equipment. The IDEAS is hosted as part of the efforts to seek international alliances to meet the requirements of armed forces and growing needs of the regional defence forces. Pakistan’s own defence products present a perfect mix of indigenous and foreign technologies thus offering an ideal platform for defence collaboration. The show provides an excellent platform to project Pakistan’s potential as supplier of quality arms and ammunition and a reliable partner in defence production. Though Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme and missile development capability is not meant for technology transfer, collaboration or sale but these do indicate that the country was capable enough to master even complicated and most advanced technologies. However, there is a marked difference between Pakistan’s defence capability and those of some other countries as Pakistan has proved its credentials as a peace loving country by offering a number of initiatives aimed at promoting regional and global security and stability. The topic of IDEAS-2018 “Arms for Peace” is also manifestation of the country’s desire to have a strong defence capability but just for ensuring peace and stability. President Dr Arif Alvi, who inaugurated the four-day event in Karachi, rightly pointed out that Pakistan does not like wars since they bring nothing but “hunger, lack of nutrition and misery”. He categorically declared that Pakistan wants peace, it has been striving for peace in a belligerent neighbourhood but it must stay strong adding “our weapons are for peaceful intent”. Pakistan’s decision to maintain minimum credible deterrence is also a clear proof of the country’s desire for peace. We hope that Pakistan would be able to forge partnership with some friendly countries to develop its defence industry on modern lines so that it not only meets requirements of our own forces but also those of some other countries in a highly competitive environment.