ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Nations plagued by poverty are the most vulnerable to crime and terrorism as poverty threatens not only national security but regional and international security as well.
“It is not a co-incidence that foot prints of terrorism are found in the poor and fragile regions of the world”, said chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Marvi Memon while speaking as chief guest at a round table discussion.
The moot titled “Poverty Alleviation and National Security” was organized by Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).
Other keynote speakers on the occasion were Senior Economist Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha, Secretary BISP Muhammad Saleem Ahmed Ranjha, Chairman Taleem Foundation Dr Zafar Qadir, CEO National Rural Support Program (NRSP) Rashid Bajwa, and CEO SDPI Abid Sulheri.
On the occasion, Chairperson BISP said the government recognizes poverty as driver of conflict and believes in providing conducive environment for sustainable growth.
Benefiting from Prime Minister’s Interest free loans, a number of BISP beneficiaries are expected to graduate out of poverty.
E-Commerce and BISP-entrepreneurial partnerships would change the financial landscape of the country. Chairperson BISP mentioned that BISP is updating National Socio Economic Registry (NSER), adding that, updated NSER would pave path for policy making which ensure no one falls fodder to extremism.
Chairperson BISP stressed on the need for regional cooperation on best practices for poverty alleviation as it is international commitment to safeguard the future generations from poverty as per United Nations charter.
She stated that BISP identifies the vulnerable, leads on poverty management and further helps them graduate out of poverty so that they do not enter the terror cycle. The Minister also gave an overview of other BISP initiatives like Waseela-e-Taleem and campaign for Climate Smart Villages which would contribute towards poverty alleviation in the long run.
Director General ISSI Ambassador Masood Khan in his welcome address highlighted global perspectives of poverty and explained various paradigms of poverty.
He stressed that poverty is a global concern that needs immediate international decisions to guarantee financial inclusion.
Secretary BISP reiterated that social protection is state responsibility. He urged the private sector to come forward towards the noble cause of poverty alleviation and economic empowerment.
The event was attended by diplomats, prominent social activists, academicians and students.