Emerging Security Dynamics of South Asia by Dr. Ejaz Akram

Post-event Report

Guest Lecture

on

Emerging Security Dynamics of South Asia

 

Introduction

Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) organized a Guest Lecture on “Emerging Security Dynamics of South Asia” on July 06, 2017 at IPRI Conference Hall.

The salient points of the speaker on the subject are given below:

  • In geo-strategic terms, in a triangle represented by the United States, India and Afghanistan, the U.S. wants to strengthen India and Afghanistan to play a multi-faceted unified role in South Asia. While the U.S support will strengthen India and disturb the existing strategic balance in South Asia, it would also encourage India to continue its efforts to destabilize Pakistan using Afghan soil and deny any substantive discussions on Kashmir.
  • Pakistan should continue with its operation Radd-ul-Fasad for a long time to foil incidents of foreign supported terrorism.
  • There is another triangle in the region – an upward facing triangle which includes China, Pakistan and Russia. This triangle wants to achieve peace in the region which would be the foundation for any kind of development in the region i-e China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • China wants to create an alternative trade route to the current route which is very long and involves crossing the Strait of Malacca, which could potentially choke China’s trade during tense security environment.
  • China has confuciusionized it’s strategic thinking, as a result of which it is leaning back to its traditions but it is modern at the same time. This change in China’s strategic thinking is very conducive to Pakistan.
  • The West uses media and psychological manoeuvring to attain its objectives in South Asia and elsewhere.
  • In Afghanistan, a free and fair election would give the Afghan Pashtuns a resounding win. The former regime of Hamid Karzai and the present government of Ashraf Ghani lacked Afghan ownership, leading to the present civil war and further provided an impetus to the Taliban to continue the war.
  • Pakistan wants a friendly government in Afghanistan as there is a natural linkage between the Pashtuns of Pakistan and the Pashtuns of Afghanistan. The total number of Pashtuns in Pakistan are greater than the same in Afghanistan.
  • In the Middle East, the West has been able to make major inroads.
  • As for the Central Asian states, they will remain under the Chinese and Russian influence.

Conclusion/Recommendations: 

  • With the Western influence and economic power receding, Pakistan might have to link its rupee to the Yuan in the future.
  • Pakistan, in cooperation with China and Russia needs to assist in the resolution of the Afghanistan crisis and support an outcome which is representative of the aspirations of the entire Afghan population.
  • CPEC will strengthen Pakistan’s position, regionally and internationally.
  • To gain maximum from CPEC, Pakistani leaders and people should engage in deep socialization with the Chinese culture and language.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the speaker and are not necessarily reflective of IPRI policy. 

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