Poverty threat to na­tional, re­gional, int’l se­cu­rity: Marvi

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Min­is­ter of State and Chair­per­son Be­nazir In­come Sup­port Pro­gramme (BISP), MNA Marvi Me­mon was in­vited as a Guest Speaker at a pri­vate roundtable dis­cus­sion ti­tled "Poverty man­age­ment and its ef­fect on re­gional sta­bil­ity" at the IISS. Rahul Roy Chaudhry, Se­nior Fel­low for South Asia at IISS chaired the dis­cus­sion.

High Com­mis­sioner for Pak­istan Syed Ibne Ab­bas and for­mer Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner to Pak­istan Phillip Bar­ton also at­tended the roundtable.

In her re­marks, the Min­is­ter iden­ti­fied poverty as a threat to na­tional, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity, which un­der­mines a coun­try's abil­ity to fight dis­ease, pro­tect en­vi­ron­ment and re­spond to dis­as­ters ef­fec­tively.

It also, she added, makes the af­fected peo­ple vul­ner­a­ble to crime and ter­ror­ism. She, how­ever, noted that there was in­ad­e­quate re­al­iza­tion among the global com­mu­nity on poverty's role in threat­en­ing re­gional and in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity and per­haps in pre­am­ble to UN Char­ter scourge of poverty needed to be added to scourge of war.

Call­ing for col­lec­tive ef­forts to ad­dress the chal­lenges of poverty, the Min­is­ter termed the need to have of­fi­cial knowl­edge shar­ing on re­gional neigh­bors ex­pe­ri­ences on poverty man­age­ment and al­le­vi­a­tion pro­grams as im­por­tant Con­fi­dence Build­ing Mea­sures ( CBMs) for dis­pute res­o­lu­tion and re­gional sta­bil­ity. Ac­cord­ing to her, th­ese re­gional strate­gies could help cre­ate trust among neigh­bors and pave way for the larger re­gional de­vel­op­ment mega projects like the China Pak Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC), or TAPI and res­o­lu­tion of dis­putes like Kash­mir.

She added that re­gional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment was the only way for­ward for the pros­per­ity of our peo­ple and for even­tual dis­pute res­o­lu­tion of some long­stand­ing his­toric ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes.

The Min­is­ter also high­lighted the up­ward tra­jec­tory of Pak­istan's econ­omy un­der the cur­rent lead­er­ship of Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Sen­a­tor Ishaq Dar. This turn around, she noted, had cre­ated fis­cal space for fund­ing of the BISP.

She said that the Govern­ment in Pak­istan was con­scious that the sym­bi­otic nexus be­tween poverty and in­se­cu­rity would be at­tacked most ef­fec­tively through the prop­a­ga­tion of the rule of law and ac­cess to jus­tice.

In her view, th­ese two tools em­power all, but es­pe­cially the poor, and within this seg­ment es­pe­cially women.

She added that poor women would be em­pow­ered if they have ac­cess to fi­nan­cial tools and if they ac­quire skills and this was pre­cisely what Pak­istan's largest so­cial safety net, the Be­nazir In­come Sup­port Pro­gram was try­ing to achieve.

The Min­is­ter also of­fered the Be­nazir In­come Sup­port Pro­gramme in Pak­istan as a plat­form to share Pak­istan's poverty man­age­ment learn­ings with the re­gion. The Min­is­ter also took ques­tions from the par­tic­i­pants at the end of her pre­sen­ta­tion.

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