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June 20, 2019

Need for increased cooperation, better ties for regional peace stressed


June 20, 2019

Islamabad: Prof Ye Hailin, head of 5-member visiting delegation of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has stressed the need for increased regional cooperation and better ties for peace and security.

Prof Hailin was speaking at a roundtable conference on 'Regional Security: Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and India,' hosted by Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) here Wednesday.

Terming Modi’s thumping majority re-election as ‘Modi 2.0’, Professor Hailin expressed concerns regarding India’s future policy towards Pakistan. Former ambassador Qazi Humayun said that the US has lost the war in Afghanistan at an annual cost of $50 billion, but wants to recover its position on the negotiating table with Taliban. However, the Trump administration fears that if they announce a withdrawal of troops, a pre-condition by the Taliban for cease-fire, Taliban would declare it as their victory. In this Catch-22, the declining superpower is actively boosting its strategic partnership with India and its role in Afghanistan.

Lt Gen (r) Asif Yasin, one of the delegates from the Pakistani side, said that the friendship between Pakistan and China is not one between the people or governments but between the hearts and minds of the two nations proven over and over again. He said China, besides Turkey and Malaysia, stood by Pakistan through all difficult times, and Pakistan looks forward to even better times.

Senior journalist Tahir Khan, speaking on the occasion said that Chinese-Taliban talks, during Taliban’s recent visit to Beijing, bode well for progress in the Afghan peace process as the two maintain a good understanding. He said keeping a regional power such as China as a guarantor in the peace process offers a more viable option for the effectiveness of the resolution of the Afghan conflict.

Pakistan, on the other hand, he said, is staying away from peace talks because in case if they don’t succeed, unlike in the past, the blame should not be on Pakistan. Former ISPR chief Maj Gen (r) Athar Abbas said that the regional ramifications of India’s designs and its role and influence in Afghanistan certainly leave Pakistan with limited space and many challenges for the Pakistani government and the military. However, he said, during the election, the anti-Pakistan rhetoric was only for electoral success. Having achieved that, Maj Gen (r) Abbas hoped that, Modi will be willing to play a constructive role and resumes dialogue with Pakistan, if not in the short-term, but definitely in the medium term.

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