Curtain Raiser: South Asian security will be discussed in Seminar “Global Strategic Threat and Response 2020”  

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The South Asian security issues would be discussed at length in the two-day Seminar “Global Strategic Threat and Response 2020” which will start on March 4 (tomorrow) here in the capital city of Islamabad.

President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi will be Chief Guest in this seminar which is hosted by the Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS), Pakistan.

A critical review of programme of the Seminar indicates that international and national security experts would discuss South Asian scene in this Two-day seminar that will also cover important security issues faced by nations in a backdrop where rapid and unprecedented changes in technologies are forming a “New Tech Order”.

The South Asian region has been characterized by a dynamic interplay of security, diplomatic and economic factors reinforcing each other in a complex nature of global interests amid territorial disputes, disturbed borders and terrorism concerns.

The events of the last few decades are a witness to the competing political and strategic interests of the superpowers amply visible in Iran, Afghanistan, India and their effect on Pakistan. Moreover, the perpetually volatile Kashmir issue and the abrogation of Article 370 by India has led to a dangerous situation in the South Asian region, with an increased risk of a conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Momentous developments are taking place at regional and global levels. South Asia’s future remains clouded with uncertainty.

On Pakistan’s Western border, Afghanistan remains far from stable as 40 years of conflict has polarised the Afghan polity, which may impede the ongoing peace process. Internal consensus in support of the US -Taliban reconciliation process is also lacking.  On the Eastern border, driven by BJP Government’s Fascist Hindutva ideology, India has adopted an aggressive posture towards Pakistan since 2014. There has been no substantive and meaningful dialogue for several years for the resolution of outstanding disputes. India continues to violate Line of Control (LOC) with impunity and ever increasing frequency.

The two countries approached brink of a major conflict in February, 2019. The August 5, 2019 Indian move to repeal Article 370 in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir and Shimla Agreement has further dimmed chances of peace in South Asian region.

On the other hand, the US Iran tension, persistent rivalry between Iran and GCC countries, competing US China interests and confrontation, will continue to pose far reaching economic, political and security challenges for South Asian countries.

Exponentially advancing technological progress has been the hallmark of 21st century. These expensive technologies have disruptive potential and military application and absence of a legal framework for control of disruptive technologies is another area of concern for less developed or under develop poor countries of South Asia. The growth of technologies and introduction of the new weapon system is fast outpacing the development of corresponding legal and institutional measures.

Investment of latest technologies in Air power is inevitable to keep the balance of deterrence because edge in Air Power can ensure strategic balance over enemies because Air Power operates effectively and simultaneously at all levels of war from the outset. Although defence may be the strongest form of war on land, this principle does not apply to air power because of its ability to strike quickly, virtually anywhere, and often with little or no warning. The speed, range and flexibility of air power grant it ubiquity, which in turn imbues it with an offensive capability; when used wisely, air power offers the advantage of operating at the strategic level of war while forcing the enemy to fight at the tactical level. One should remember how did Pakistan Air Force PAF) responded against Indian aggression in last week of February 2019 and won the war by downing two Indian fighter jets and by capturing Indian pilot because India could dare to launch full-fledged war on Pakistan to get political mileage before Indian General Elections.

Air Power is no more limited to Air Forces power rather Aerospace sector has also become important for military purposes.

Driven by a fiercely competitive civil and military requirement, industrially advanced countries continue to pursue aerospace programme through public-private partnerships.  While civil utilization of aerospace for agriculture, education natural sciences etc. contributes towards economic development, the military use of aerospace with ever expanding role of aircraft, ballistic missiles, satellites, anti-satellite systems and Laser / directed energy weapons etc. presents multiple employment options, as well as unforeseen challenges.  Aerospace power can substantiate deterrence, denial, coercion, and decapitation strategies. Advanced warfare studies reveal that it would not be possible to influence future conflicts without the use of aerospace assets.

The analysis of core technological developments and emerging nature of warfare, also requires future force posturing to cater for impending threats, by transforming the existing militaries into modern, efficient and agile professional forces capable of handling technologies of the future.

International and national experts including former Ambassador Cameron Munter, former Foreign Secretary Inam-ul-Haq, former Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, ACM Sir Brian Burridge (Retd), CEO Royal Aeronautical Society, UK, Group Captain Lyle Holt, Director Plan Jericho, Royal Australian Air Force, Dr. Filippo Neri Leonardo, President VirtuaLabs SRL, Italy, Col Dr. John Andreas Olsen, Norwegian Defence Attaché UK & Aviation Security Expert, Lt Gen (Retd) David A. Deptula, USAF, AVM Faaiz Amir (Retd), Former VC Air University

Lt Gen Aamir Riaz (Retd), Lt Gen Nasser Janjua (Retd), Former National Security Advisor, Former President National Defence University, Jorge Sebastiao, Chief Technology Officer Huawei Middle East & European Union, AVM Sohail Malik (Retd), Gen Philippe Steininger (Retd), Military Adviser to the President of CNES (French space agency), Air Commodore Simon Edwards, Assistant Chief of Staff Capability Delivery, Royal Air Force and Air Marshal Javaid Ahmed (Retd), VC Air University will deliver their papers.

Click here to read detail Programme of Seminar