Senator Mushahid Hussain has said that the rise of Hinduvta and extremist ideology of India’s Prime Minister Modi is dividing not only India but the whole region on communal lines, which is a dangerous trend.
He was the chief guest at the concluding session titled ‘Seeking Global Peace’ of an international conference organized by the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) at a local hotel here from December 14-15.
“There is a major transformation in the global balance of power and in this transformative world Pakistan has a very key role to play due to its strategic space,” said Chairman, Senate Defence Committee, Co-Chairman, International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).
He added that now Pakistan is heading towards non-ideological post Afghanistan foreign policy after 42 years which is a good sign and more realistic.
“But unfortunately India has an ideological foreign policy based on Muslim bashing and Pakistan bashing, for they have to win the next election,” said Mushahid.
The first session of the second day was on Pakistan’s Foreign Policy. Russia’s Prof. Vyacheslav Ya Belokrenitsky said that restoration of direct air links between Pakistan and Russia, established in 1963 ad cut off in 1079, could give a necessary boost to friendly productive interaction.
Dr Moonis Ahmer from the University of Karachi while speaking on Post-Independence Compulsions and Pakistan’s Foreign Policy said that “crisis management mechanism in foreign policy is the need of the hour whether it pertains to Afghanistan, India, United States, Russian federation, Iran, Afghanistan and so forth”.
Ambassador Zamir Akram, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said “In the post-Cold War world, increasing geopolitical confrontation between the major powers has accentuated the divergence between Pakistan and the US while Sino-Pakistan convergence has increased. Such convergence is critical not only for Pakistan’s security but its economic development as well”.
The second session of the day was about Pakistan’s Security Challenges. Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan from NUST said that neo-liberal economic policies have severely jeopardized democracy in developing countries, including Pakistan, and have damaged democracies in countries which have implemented IMF supported structural adjustment programmes.
Imtiaz Gul, Executive Director, Centre for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad spoke on ‘Countering the Threat of Terrorism’ and stated that the emergence of a new Baloch coalition called Baloch Nationalist Army and its close nexus with the TTP further underline the proxy nature of the security challenges that Pakistan is facing today.
A parallel session on Kashmir was the highlight of the second day. Altaf Hussain Wani, Chairman, Kashmir Institute of International Affairs, Islamabad delivered a lecture on Formulae for Resolving the Kashmir Issue in which he stated that empirical evidence shows that India has never been serous about resolving the dispute.
“After backtracking from international commitments on Kashmir, New Dehli invoked bilateral agreements to minimize the international community’s role and the scope of third-party intervention on Kashmir. It has since been India’s consistent position that issues, if any, between India and Pakistan should be resolved bilaterally,” said Wani.
Dr Maria Saifuddin Effendi from NDU spoke about Structured Violence in Indian Occupied Kashmir in the Last Ten Years and stated that in the last ten years India’s policies to suppress and violate human rights are an indication of the systematic genocide against the Muslims of Kashmir.
The third session of the second day was about Troubled Relationships. Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, spoke about ‘Are India and Pakistan Destined to Remain in Perpetual Hostility?’ and stated that although issues between Pakistan and India are complex and longstanding, progress is possible provided there is political will and commitment at the highest level.
The fourth session of the day was about Pakistan’s Economy and Connectivity. Dr Kaiser Bengali, Adviser to the Chief Minister of Sindh for Planning & Development delivered a lecture on Gwadar, CPEC and National Development.
He stated that given the absence of surface or underground water sources, desalinating water from the sea appears to be the only option which is exorbitantly costly and, if charged at full cost, likely to render economic activity unfeasible.
A roundtable on Seeking Global Peace was also held and the participants included Dr Jehan Perera from Sri Lanka, Dr Saba Gul Khattak from World Bank, Dr Farhan Hanif Siddiqi from Quaid-i-Azam University, and Dr Irina N. Serenko from Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
In the end, Chairperson PIIA Dr Masuma Hasan in her Farewell Remarks thanked all the participants for making the conference a great success.
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