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January 3, 2019

‘Afghan peace process: implications, stability’ discussed at a seminar


January 3, 2019

Islamabad : Dr Adil Najam from Boston University, US, has said that one third of people, half of economy and three fourths of military in the world are in the control of strongmen regimes.

Dr Najam was speaking on “New World ‘Disorder’?” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute here Wednesday. Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri conducted the proceedings.

Prof Najam said that there was a sudden emergence of strongpersons in the world. The outcome, according to two books he cited, resulted in the notion saying that present was an opportune time for the start of a global war.

He said that currently fear is the basis of policies in the world but the question is how this model will be implemented.

He said that protest suddenly became a tool of politics. Once called anarchy, but established institutions no longer exercise hold over ideas and governments. There is an outburst of sense and everybody seems to have ability and make commentaries on any topic. He said that Arab Spring to Dharnas, there is a rise of protest in the comity of the nations including US.

He said that governance issue is very crucial in this discussion. He said that World Trade Organisation decides what is cheese, chocolate and which is not. He said that people feel betrayed that leaders taking votes but not delivering.

Dr Najam said that notion of governance is not clear. Donald Trump said that a system that is too pro-poor is bad.

He said that truth should be in the centre of discussion though Climate Change argument does not convince Trumps of this world. He said that it is a question of justice, not of science or winners and losers. He said that out of 13,950 research papers on Climate Change, only 24 questioned the idea of global warming but Trump-like people are flag-bearer of this tiny minority. He observed that one cannot call it a balancing idea when truth is so obvious. They want to subject truth and evidence to scrutiny which is ridiculous. He said that activism had been replaced by fear.

Former Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said that failure to deliver leads to frustration. He said that Europe has nine ultra-Right parties. He said that there is a time limit to deliver as long wait is not there. Where civil society brought change? he asked adding that if markets can be civil society, why not Parliaments. He said that globalisation broke many walls. He said that immigration is the final test of globalisation.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, said that in last two decades, the global politics is reshaping around the world which is before us in the shape of Trumptisation and Brexitisation. He said that such global phenomena and most recent partial withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan demand the governments like Pakistan to focus more on their real domestic issues.

In the question hour, Dr Najam said that disorder is there unless a new world order is established. He said that being strong is not a problem but mixing it and believing that one strong is an issue. He said that better choices can be made. He said politics is worship and best invention of humankind and voting is its easiest manifestation. He said that Putin, Ordogan and Mohammad Bin Salman are examples of strongmen. He said that voters’ interest is leaning to support strong, robust leadership. He did not agree with the concept of doing wrong things for right objective. He said that the situation is in flux and we don’t know with whom countries will side in a war-like scenario.

Replying to a query, Adil Najam said that Pan-Islamism is a wish but not practical in the present scenario when Muslim countries are fighting with each other’s. He told a questioner that Imran Khan is a populist but if he is strongman, “I am not sure,” he said.

He said that ideas of Left and Right are dead now. He opined that populist governments are not ideological.

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