KARACHI: Several memorandums of understanding were signed and products launched on Thursday at the 9th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2016 being held at the Expo Centre.
A large number of visitors, including the chief minister of Sindh and the mayor of Karachi, also arrived at the venue and went around visiting the stalls there.
To certify that Pakistan’s defence equipment meets international standards, an agreement was signed between a French company and Pakistan.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Punjab Governor Malik Mohammad Rafique Rajwana visited the exhibition to witness the activities under way there. They appreciated the quality and technology of the equipment and defence production being showcased there.
‘Pakistan is strong enough to retaliate against aggression’
Speaking to the media at the Expo Centre, he said Pakistan Army was strong in training, equipment and war-production and on top of all that “the spirit of our forces is very high because of public support to them in defending the borders of the country”. While appreciating the participation of international defence companies, trade delegations, and high-level representatives of different countries in IDEAS 2016, he said the international community had again reposed its trust in Pakistan and realised the objective of this defence exhibition and seminar, which is ‘Arms for Peace’. He said such mega events brought a good name to the country as people from other countries came and see how Pakistan could help them with their defence needs.
Syed Murad Ali Shah also lauded the Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO) for holding such a mega event in Karachi. He appreciated the facilities extended to the foreign and local companies by DEPO and praised everyone who worked hard to make the IDEAS 2016 a successful event in the city.
He said the exhibition had sent a loud and clear message “to the enemy of Pakistan” that Pakistan was strong enough with latest weapons and war gadgets to retaliate against any aggression.
“As a nation we are happy to know that IDEAS has emerged in the world as one of the best platforms for the defence industry. It has come a long way since its inception in the year 2000,” he said, adding that Karachi was now recognised as an ideal city for hosting such a mega event “because the international community has also endorsed our efforts. The participation of international defence exhibitors and delegations is itself a testimony to the fact that Pakistan is the hub of commerce in this region.”
Agreeing with the CM that IDEAS 2016 had brought a good name for the country and especially Karachi, Mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar said the exhibition would help improve the soft image of Karachi. “Organising such events in Karachi is itself a proof of the fact that peace in Karachi has been restored and that there is an increase in commercial and trade activities here,” he said.
“We are ready to provide cooperation for the betterment and progress of Karachi at all levels,” he said, adding that Karachi made a major contribution to the national exchequer with billions of rupees in the form of taxes. “We are making efforts to get more power and funds for improving the city and it is a good omen that the city’s condition, too, has started improving with the coming of the local government representatives,” he said.
The mayor was accompanied by member of the National Assembly Khawaja Sohail Mansoor, Ramesh Kumar and other civil and military officers.
Most of the visitors to the exhibition were youngsters, including college and university students, who already seemed quite knowledgeable about weapons, especially small arms. They went about gathering more information regarding these while also marvelling at the engineering and technology used in building defence equipment.