ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: “There is no military solution for ongoing Afghan civil war and all stakeholders must encourage talks with the Afghan Taliban”.
These observations were made by eminent speakers during a seminar organised by Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) which took place here on Thursday.
The title of seminar was “The US Policy for South Asia and Pakistan’s Response”. The event brought together government representatives, armed forces officers, diplomats, experts of foreign policy and individuals from public and private entities.
The aim of the Seminar was to discuss the recent policy statements/tweets by the US President Donald Trump and its impacts on Pakistan and the region. The seminar focused on future projection with special emphasis on regional security dynamics so that conclusions/recommendations can be drawn to develop a practical counter strategy keeping in view the future prospects.
Former Director General of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General Muhammad Zahir Ul Islam (Retd) there is (was) no military solution to the situation in Afghanistan, and all stakeholders must encourage having talks with the Afghan Taliban.
Former Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi who served in United States observed that regardless of whether how much Pakistan would like, U.S. will never develop ‘strategic relations’ with Pakistan. “However, Pakistan can develop an important relationship with U.S. by aligning Pakistan’s foreign policy with its domestic challenges”, he commented.
Former Ambassador Zamir Akram who served as Permanent Representative to the United Nations delivered his speech on “US Grand Strategy for Asia; Its Manifestations in the Recent US Policy”. He stated that the U.S. grand policy regarding South Asia is about containing the influence of China, for which U.S. is developing a strategic alliance with India. He also mentioned how relevant Pakistan’s Afghan Policy is to Indo-Pak relations. He concluded his speech by mentioning how U.S. interests lie in destabilization of the Middle East by increasing sectarianism and mentioned how stability brought to Afghanistan is of core importance to Pakistan.
Former Defence Secretary of Pakistan Lieutenant General Naeem Khalid Lodhi talked about “The US Policy for South Asia and Pakistan’s Response”. He started his speech by putting forth the questions that ‘whether great powers ever change, and if they do, is America winning in Afghanistan’. He then took his speech forward, concluding that the great powers never change. He finally gave a way forward for Pakistan, and what in can do to bilaterally develop relations with China and India.
Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan – Principal and Dean, School of Social Sciences & Humanities, National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), Islamabad presented his speech on “Economic Effects of New US Strategy”. He enlightened the audience with extensive statistical data on the financial and military support U.S. has been providing to Pakistan, and mentioned how Pakistan can single-handedly replace the economic assistance provided by the U.S.
About 250 people including the senior members of CGSS Advisory Board, government representatives, armed forces officers, and diplomats attended the Seminar.