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Senior Security Experts to lead on foreign policy

Lahore : The senior experts and analysts on geo-security dynamics suggested civilian leadership of the country to take lead on foreign policy to meet the emerging security challenges at regional and global levels. They also elaborated the importance of the military establishment to be coherent with civilian leadership as a reflection of strong national foreign policy and meaningful engagement with regional and global powers on several critical issues, especially on the matters related to security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The speakers made these deliberations during the seminar ‘Changing Geo-strategic Scenario- New Security Challenges for Pakistan’, held by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.

Lt. General (R ) Asad Durrani, while commenting on situation related to Afghanistan said that India was fully exploiting the situation in its favor whereas Pakistan, despite of the huge losses it has borne over the years has been failed to make the world realized about its compulsions.  He said that how Pakistan could open new fronts by waging wars on the elements that were coherently not fighting against Pakistan. He said that Pakistan has withheld the pressure from world powers for so many years and hence, should not surrender its principle position on key strategic issues.

Lt. General (R) Talat Masood on the occasion covered various aspects of BRICS and the President Trump’s speech with specific mention of Pakistan and said that China’s policy has not been changed and what has been emerged at BRICS was in fact an old stance about certain non-state actors. However, he said, whereas there was dire need for Pakistan to present its case before global community effectively, it was also time to rethink about the policy of supporting Haqqani Group and certain groups of Taliban with serious soul searching that this policy has benefitted are damaged Pakistan more.

He said that no word power could improve your situation if you are weakened internally and Afghanistan as a model of failed state was classic example of this phenomenon. He said that the institutions in Pakistan should learn lesson from Afghanistan and must redress the issues that were weakening and destabilizing Pakistan from within.

Zahid Hussain, senior political analysts the American policy towards Afghanistan was not very clear and the matter of concern for Pakistan was that for the first time ever it has been linked with policy towards South Asia. He said the postponement of Pakistani diplomatic mission’s visit to America was a good strategic decision.  It could be hoped that the things would get resettled gradually. He said that Pakistan should resume engagement with Kabul while fulfilling the promises that were made earlier including the facilitation under Afghan Trade Transit.

Brigadier (R) Shaukat Qadir, was of view that Pakistan was always lacking effective foreign policy and the recent situation was its natural consequence. He said that China was trying to pushing its position regarding CPEC in its favor and hence, we need to be vigilant that we must not repeat the mistakes of the past by surrendering our key interests to favor one or another global power.

Shafqat Kakakhel, former ambassador opined that all the stakeholders in the regional security situation must admit that there was no military solution for turmoil in Afghanistan and it some political settlement must be reached upon.

Earlier, Dr. Imran Khalid of SDPI presented a detailed outlook of security related challenges to Pakistan in current scenario and said that keeping in view the importance of these challenges, government should take initiative to broaden the discourse around these issues so that these could be responded with greater national consensus and collective wisdom.

Qamar Cheema, the analyst and academician the Americans were trying to our stretch Indian role in Afghanistan which was highly adventurous.   He said that our political leadership should assume the lead role in foreign policy as it should be the domain of elected institution.

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