The Seminar was held under the aegis of the Defense Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) and organized by the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS). The Seminar was a part of bi-annual defense exhibition IDEAS - 2014. Eminent scholars from the Russian Federation, Malaysia, Poland and Pakistan deliberated on the seminar theme. The chief guest of the seminar Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood in his key note address at a seminar entitled “Matching Research and Production to the Challenges of a Dynamic Security Environment” said that the world is confronted by new challenges while old security threats are changing to adapt to new technologies. The traditional paradigm of strategic stability has been consigned to the past by the new realities in world affairs, and changing domains of military and political powers. Defense and security operations are no longer restricted to the realm of physical space. Today, states are facing transformative security challenges from cyber space and outer space domains. General Rashad Mahmood emphasized the view that this mega-event signified the accomplishments of Pakistan’s defence industry and its research and development (R&D) facilities despite serious security challenges confronting the country. He stated that the traditional paradigm of strategic stability has been consigned to the past by the new realities in world affairs, and changing domains of military and political powers. Defence and security operations are no longer restricted to the realm of physical space. In the current environment, the primary objectives of any state’s security institutions are to achieve domestic peace, maintain harmony, and ensure defence of the country against internal and external challenges. States are becoming more and more inter-dependent and striving to seek collective or cooperative security mechanisms to mitigate emerging challenges. In case of Pakistan, maintaining strategic stability and balance in the region in the face of enduring security challenges has been at the heart of its national security framework. Evaluation of Pakistan’s Defence Industries is also poignant reminder of Pakistan’s perpetual quest for cost effective and technologically responsive solutions to meet current and future security challenges. Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, in her presentation titled “Security issues confronted by Pakistan: Challenges and Response” stated that Pakistan’s principal challenge lies within – defeating militancy and extremism, reviving the economy, resolving the energy crisis, and educating our children and creating jobs to match the youth bulge in our population to avert a looming demographic disaster. The strategic choices most consequential to Pakistan’s future concern these internal challenges. However, the challenge within is, in several ways, linked to Pakistan’s external environment, not least because a peaceful neighborhood is crucial for Pakistan to focus unhindered on solving deep-seated domestic problems. Dr. Lodhi argued that America’s ‘pivot’ is also consequential to Pakistan’s security challenges. The pivot is widely seen as aimed to contain China’s rise, even as America simultaneously pursues economic engagement with Beijing. If this policy involves an endeavor to build India as a counterweight to China, this will have implications for South Asia’s stability. US plans to supply India advanced weaponry and technology will accentuate the growing conventional and strategic asymmetry between Pakistan and India and further undermine the delicate regional equilibrium. Dr. Lodhi stated that Pakistan's weapons and nuclear materials are under tight control and are better than those adopted by many other nuclear and nuclear-capable countries, including India. Preserving the credibility of nuclear deterrence between Pakistan and India will depend on the present and potential size and quality of their respective nuclear arsenals and their survivability in the event of a pre-emptive strike. In relations between rival nuclear weapon states, there is always offensive temptation and defensive anticipation regarding a pre-emptive strike. A survival second-strike capability offers an assurance against adventurist action by either side. Pakistan will have to acquire, if it has not already, a second strike capability by enlarging its arsenal, dispersal and disguise and protected launch sites. It will, no doubt, also seek to match India's acquisition of nuclear powered submarines. The Air Marshal Javaid Ahmed in his speech titled “Challenges and opportunities for the defense industry to meet emerging security threats” argued that as the challenges grow, so do the opportunities for defense industry. UAVs, persistent and accurate ISR; autonomous ground and aerial robots; PGMS; directed energy; non-lethal weapons; are response to emerging threats. Pakistan’s defense industry has responded well to looming security threats. Its undertaking in both domains (strategic and conventional) is by no means trivial amid sanctions, economic crunch and international pressures. Pakistan’s defense industry is at a juncture where it has the capacity and capability to share technology as well as venture further towards development of hi-tech products. Dr. William Stevenson in his presentation on “Cyber warfare as a security threat to regional strategic stability” argued that revolutionary changes in technology and military affairs have pushed security beyond the terrestrial frontiers and cyber space has emerged as new battlefield frontier. Survivability and operationalization of command and control centers for strategic and conventional forces are essential conditions for strategic stability. He said that the ongoing advances in the cyber domain would present key challenge for maintaining stability during conflict. But advancement in cyber warfare technique will continue to pose a complex array of threats even during peace time. Mr. Viladimir Kozin from Russian Institute for Strategic Studies in his presentation titled “Militarization of Outer Space and its impact on Global Security Environment” elaborated that the outer space could well be the arena of the arms race between states in future. Mr. Kozin informed the audience that Russian Federation was still committed to the idea of keeping outer space as the heritage of the entire world community, for making it totally demilitarized in terms of combat weapons (naturally, non-combat military satellites like meteorological, navigational, reconnaissance should not be prohibited). Earlier Director General DEPO Major General Agha Masood Akram, in his opening remarks, set the tone of the seminar by arguing that even though no major war has been fought between developed countries after WWII, their defence industries continue to produce more and innovative military equipment, based on R&D. Some of this equipment, he said, is sold to the less developed countries at fairly high financial and some time political cost. Theme of the seminar was exceedingly relevant to the changing security environment in which states, particularly less developed countries like Pakistan have to operate in order to meet their security challenges, General Agha added. The presiding officer Ambassador Munir Akram in his concluding remarks said that technology has been and remains the prime instrument for enhancing security and development. In the 21st century, the speed of technological advances is unprecedented. The process of change is rapidly converting yesterday’s fiction into today’s reality. The most effective users of technology based on innovative concepts have become the most advanced countries in the world. Whereas in the less privileged ‘third world’, some progressive developing states have moved much faster than others in this respect.
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