‘Integration of regional economies, the path to peace’ | Daily News

‘Integration of regional economies, the path to peace’

The panelists at the seminar.
The panelists at the seminar.

The High Commission of Pakistan organised a seminar titled ‘Prospects of Peace, Progress and Prosperity in South Asia’ at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo, February 5. Various aspects of progress, development, and resolution of conflicts in the South Asian region were discussed during the Seminar.

Eminent scholars; Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery, President of the Centre for Global and Security Studies in Pakistan; Ameen Izzadeen, senior journalist and Editor of the International Desk at Wijeya Newspapers; and High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Maj. Gen. (R), Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat; addressed the seminar. Izzadeen said that the South Asian region is an abode of diverse cultures and deep-rooted historicity. The major indicators of development are economic growth, equity in distribution of resources, and overall quality of life; which is difficult to achieve and sustain without solidarity and resolution of conflicts—including Kashmir issue.

Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery said that the Kashmir issue is not just a dispute between Pakistan and India, but a regional as well as an international issue pertaining to right of self-determination of many million Kashmiris. The adverse effects of the non-resolution of the Kashmir dispute are felt regionally and internationally, Jaffery said.

He also said that Kashmiris had been suffering for the past seven decades. The international community must respond to this humanitarian crisis with full responsibility, he added.

High Commissioner Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat said that integration of regional economies was the best way for peace, prosperity, and economic growth in this age of globalisation. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) are good role models for other regions to achieve accelerated economic growth and social progress, he added.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), if made more effective, could become an engine of growth for South Asia, which will be possible only after the resolution of all disputes in the region, including the Kashmir dispute.

The High Commissioner also asserted that Pakistan was seeking peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute through a meaningful and comprehensive dialogue with India. The resolution of disputes can be attained through bilateral negotiations and regional and international mediation.

If there is no peace, there will be no political stability; and if there is no stability, no economic progress can take place, he said.

The seminar was attended by people from different walks of life, including diplomats, vice-chancellors, senior officers from the Sri Lankan armed forces, members of the Pakistani community, students of different universities, participants from think tanks, as well as officials of the Pakistani High Commission.



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