Need for freeing Pakistan’s foreign ties from influence of third countries

 A two-day international conference on “Navigating Peace & Security in the Region & Beyond: Pakistan’s Role” concluded here on Friday providing valuable insights into regional dynamics, and emphasising the importance of diplomacy, cooperation, and a renewed approach to address pressing issues.

The Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East and Africa at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) held the event in collaboration with the United States Institute for Peace “to undertake a strategic scan of the developments at the international level and in the adjoining regions of Pakistan.” The conference brought together leading experts and diplomats to discuss major regional issues.

Various working sessions were held on Afghanistan, Middle East, Pakistan-US relations, innovative approaches to non-traditional security challenges, global perspectives on regional peace and security, and cooperation on counter-terrorism. During a session on ‘Building Sustainable Peace in Afghanistan, which was moderated by CAMEA Director Amina Khan, the speakers highlighted the challenges in post-US/NATO Afghanistan, including economic isolation, ideological rigidity of the Taliban, and the proliferation of terrorist groups.

They stressed the need for consensus on a political pathway to ensure sustainable peace.

The speakers said Pakistan and Afghanistan could address mutual issues through negotiations and cooperation.

A session was on ‘Building Regional Peace: Pakistan, The Middle East and Beyond’ with Programme Adviser to the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Pakistan Hamayoun Khan acting as its moderator.

The speakers stressed Pakistan’s role in regional multilateral forums and institutions to enhance its influence and said there was a need for addressing traditional and non-traditional security concerns.

They also said the region’s economic, environmental, and social challenges required immediate attention.

The speakers highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to promoting peace, stability, and positive relations with neighbouring countries.

In a working session on ‘Pakistan and the United States: Strengthening Bilateral Cooperation’, which was moderated by Senior Programme Officer at the USIP Pakistan Hamza Ijaz, the speakers discussed the strengths and challenges of US-Pakistan relations.

They noted resilience in the bilateral ties and the potential for enhanced cooperation in various areas.

The speakers acknowledged differences in strategic priorities but insisted that the relations were not in crisis.

They suggested the need for freeing the relationship from the influence of third countries and developing a new narrative for Pakistan.

2023-10-08

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