ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has underlined the need to get climate justice in the aftermath of calamitous floods that are caused by climate change and hit Pakistan despite the fact that the country has very negligible carbon footprints.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto addressed the opening session of the 11th Edition of International Defence Exhibition IDEAS-2022 held at the Expo Center in Karachi on Tuesday.
He welcomed all foreign dignitaries and other participants who attended the event. He said it was an honor for him to address the International Defence Exhibition IDEAS-2022.
Federal Minister for Defence Production Muhammad Israr Tareen, Sindh Chief Minster Syed Murad Ali Shah and high civil and military official attended the inaugural ceremony.
In his address, the young minister elaborated numerous challenges, the new government had to face soon after it took reins of power.
Bilawal said soon after its installation, the coalition government was beset with various challenges, the biggest one was stabilization of country’s economy. We inherited a ruined economy where Pakistan was at the precipice of default. But by the grace of God and efforts of the unity government, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and our financial team, Pakistan was saved from falling into economic crisis.
He said that the economic crisis was deepened with the Covid-19 outbreak. The economic impact also aggravated by conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he added.
He said still the government managed to mitigate the effects of these challenges. He maintained ‘governments come and go but we should not compromise on the fundamentals of our national economic policies’.
He said the government was working hard on stabilizing economy, improving diplomatic relations with other countries which also resulted in our removal from FATF grey list, but at that juncture Pakistan was hit by the worst-ever climatic catastrophe.
He said the monstrous monsoon rains put 1/3rd of our land under water. 33 million people among whom 16 million children were affected by the floods. He stated that the backbone of our economy i.e. agriculture sector was devastated. The total financial loss incurred by floods was estimated more than $32 billion which is 10% of our total GDP.
Bilawal said given the scale of destruction, we were pushed back by decades. “But in every crisis, there is an opportunity. We must invest in climate resilient efforts in less developed and rural areas. In our interaction with world especially in recently concluded COP27 we underlined the need to take global action against climate change as a priority,” he added.
He said as the chair at G77 plus China, we have led the demands for climate finance and climate justice to enable developing countries to cope with climate adaptation and mitigate challenges of the climate changes.
He said Pakistan successfully projected the climate change effects in both the COP27 and G77 moots.
The foreign minister said that the government was encouraging private sector’s participation in defence production. “We are improving relations with all countries under foreign policy,” he said.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will formally open the international defence fair later in which 285 delegates from 64 countries will participate. .
A traffic plan has also been devised in this regard.
The international companies related to defence industry from all over the world including America, Russia and China are taking part in the IDEAS-22. A large number of senior civil and military delegations and trade visitors would also witness the exhibition.
The defence exhibition will continue for four days.
Defence Export Promotion Organization has arranged the exhibition, which brings together defence industries from across the globe to showcase their latest technological innovations.
The Karachi traffic police released a traffic plan for the fair. According to the plan, both tracks of Sir Shah Salman road will remain closed for traffic. The traffic police requested the citizens to use alternate routes.