Press Release 05/03/2022
PRESS RELEASE, March 5, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The Embassy of Japan in Islamabad in collaboration with the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) held a webinar on Thursday, titled, ‘Afghanistan and South Asia.’ The deliberations covered Afghanistan’s post-Taliban scenario; Pakistan-India relations with particular focus on Kashmir and Regional Connectivity.
The Japanese speakers were Aoki Kenta, Research Fellow Middle East Institute of Japan, and Kasai Ryohei, Visiting Researcher, Center for South Asian Studies, Gifu Women’s University, Japan. They discussed the role of Taliban and what impact the dispensation will have on Pakistan-Japan relations. Japan’s efforts in South Asia in an age of SDGs and Pakistan’s developmental potential as well as geostrategic opportunities were also highlighted, and there was a resolve to buoy the ties in times to come.
With Afghanistan remaining the convergence point of interaction, the speakers reflected upon the new developments and as to how important is humanitarian assistance and nation-building.
Other speakers included former Ambassador to UAE and Iran, Asif Durrani; Dr. Maria Saifuddin Effendi, Asst. Professor, Peace & Conflict Studies, NDU, Islamabad; and Rafiullah Kakar, CPEC/PPP Unit, Government of Balochistan.
Former Minister of State & Chairman Board of Investment, Haroon Sharif and Senior Correspondent Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Abubakar Siddique also joined as discussants.
As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan, the webinar was an attempt to promote and develop intellectual exchange between the two countries, which would contribute towards further enhancing mutual understanding on issues of regional and global importance.
Acting President and Director Research IPRI Brig (retd) Raashid Wali Janjua said that peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of the region. He also illustrated on the region’s progress and connectivity through economic and energy corridors.
While South Asia remains one of the least integrated regions of the world, the speakers urged the need for maximizing ties and opening new vistas of cooperation.
They said in the prevailing regional environment, Pakistan’s relevance in South Asia is likely to emerge as a trading corridor and CPEC is a landmark achievement in linking South, Central and East Asia.