ISLAMABAD: Former army chief retired General Raheel Sharif, who enjoys an impressive record of successfully leading a war against terrorism, has been invited to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, where he will speak on the subject of terrorism.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will lead the Pakistani delegation to the meeting, which will be chaired jointly by Brian T. Moynihan of the Bank of America, award-winning documentary maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Frans van Houten and Meg Whitman.
This is the first time that a former army chief of Pakistan has been invited to speak at the WEF. Earlier, Gen Pervez Musharraf addressed the forum, but in his capacity as the head of a state.
A spokesperson for the WEF confirmed on Friday that retired Gen Sharif would speak at two sessions of the event to be held on January 17.
The session entitled “terrorism in the digital age” will feature debates on the “fragmented struggles” against Al Qaeda, the militant Islamic State group and Boko Haram; responsible leadership in international security; and resilience to the global network.
It will discuss ways to deal with terrorist organisations that are increasingly using sophisticated digital networks to signal allegiance to a wider movement, attack their enemies and manage resources.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy among the co-chairpersons of the event
The session will also be attended by Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of Counterterrorism Jean-Paul Laborde, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Prince Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, and Europol Director Rob Wainright. Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, will moderate the session.
The second session will be titled “Global security context” and discussions will deal with the issue of “the noteworthy changes and emerging trends reshaping the international security agenda”.
During the debate, dimensions of the recalibration of US security priorities, geostrategic shifts, and future conflict domains will be dealt with.
Besides Gen Sharif, the speakers will include Victor L.L. Chu of the First Eastern Investment Group, Hong Kong, Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Prince Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud. The session will be moderated by Robin Niblett, the director of the Chatham House, United Kingdom.
The Davos meeting will also deal with issues like “A new security framework for Asia”, “Global security risk”, “Investing in peace”, “Future of warfare”, and “Harnessing regional cooperation in South Asia”.
Other participants from Pakistan will be Minister of State for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarrar, Mosharraf Zaidi and Arif Naqvi.
More than 2,500 participants from nearly 100 countries will meet and participate in over 300 sessions.
The theme of the meeting calls on global leaders to renew the systems that have supported international cooperation in the past by adapting them to today’s complex and multi-polar world in ways that foster genuinely inclusive and equitable growth.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will also attend the meeting and deliver a speech, offering Chinese remedies for the world’s economic ailments.