0 comments   |     by NDU SEMINAR on December 19 , 2014

ISLAMABAD: Balanced policies of new Afghan political dispensation and Pakistan’s decisive military engagement against terrorist outfits should prove to be the cornerstone of emerging prospects for regional stability.

This was an outcome of a seminar titled “South Asia in Systemic Flux: Assessment and Scenarios For Regional Order”, held in Islamabad on Thursday at the National Defence University.

Prominent scholars, diplomats and experts on international relations presented their views on the emerging security order in South Asia in the wake of recent global and regional developments.

President National Defence University Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal emphasised the relevance of disparate yet closely linked world orders to the regional security order of South Asia. He stressed that the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan will throw up new challenges to regional security which could be overcome through regional as well as national approaches for ensuring stability in the face of emerging developments.

Ambassador (retired) Akram Zaki highlighted certain positive and negative recent developments in the South Asian region which would impact the regional security in future. He expressed the hope that the balanced policies of the new Afghan political dispensation and Pakistan’s decisive military engagement against terrorist outfits should prove to be the cornerstone of emerging prospects for regional stability.

However, the ultranationalist government in India was a negative development which would need adoption of a prudent approach by Pakistan towards resolution of longstanding bilateral issues.

In the first session, dynamics of Indo-Pak relations were explored through various prisms. Dr Tahir Amin of Quaid-e-Azam University presented an interesting perspective that invited participants to analyse the emerging pattern of relations among states in South Asia through the lens of world orders.

In his view, there were prospects of convergence of interests between Pakistan and Russia, as the Indic World Order has been steadily drifting away from the Slavic order due to overlapping interests with the Western Liberal Order.

Dr Adil Sultan made a comparative evaluation of emerging strategic doctrines of Pakistan and India. He was of the opinion that external powers would play a crucial role in the future regional security order.

Senator Mushahid Hussain indicated that the greater regional inter-connectivity and interaction among regional states meant that security concerns had also become multi-dimensional.

Dr Sumbal Khan explored the recent developments in Afghanistan and highlighted the shrinking capacity of Afghan government to finance its security apparatus as the major impediment in securing peace in post US Afghanistan.

Ambassador (retired) Sohail Amin was of the view that combating terrorism was the biggest challenge being faced by the governments of South Asian countries.

A comprehensive presentation on interest of regional and major powers in Afghanistan was made by Dr Muhammad Khan, Head of the Department of International Relations (NDU). Dr Khan concluded that recent developments indicated a divergence rather than convergence of interests among regional countries and this could prove to be a major caveat in securing regional peace.

Ambassador (retired) Ayaz Wazir advocated an even-handed approach towards militancy and a review of government’s long term policy in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in order to avoid the tragic fall out as experienced in Peshawar on 16 December, 2014.

Dr Pervez Iqbal Cheema concluded the seminar by highlighting the importance of good neighbourly relations among South Asian countries based on a paradigm of development.

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