Nations plagued by poverty are the most vulnerable to crime and terrorism as poverty threatens not only national security but also regional and international security, so it is not a coincident that footprints of terrorism are found in poor and fragile regions of the world, observed Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) chairperson Marvi Memon while speaking as chief guest at a moot titled, “Poverty Alleviation and National Security”, organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).
Other keynote speakers were senior economist Dr Hafiz A Pasha, BISP Secretary Muhammad Saleem Ahmed Ranjha, Taleem Foundation Chairman Dr Zafar Qadir, National Rural Support Program (NRSP) CEO Rashid Bajwa and SDPI CEO Abid Sulheri.
On the occasion, the BISP chairperson said the government recognised poverty as driver of conflict and believed 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,” she added.
The BISP chairperson mentioned that the BISP was updating the National Socio Economic Registry (NSER), adding that updated NSER would pave a path for policy making which would ensure no one fell fodder to extremism.
Memon stressed need for regional cooperation on best practices for poverty alleviation as it was international commitment to safeguard the future generations from poverty as per the United Nations charter.
She said the BISP identified the vulnerable, leads on poverty management and further helped them graduate out of poverty so that they did 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.
ISSI Director General Masood Khan, in his welcome address, highlighted global perspectives of poverty and explained various paradigms of poverty.