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Wednesday October 27, 2021

‘All regional states should work closely to create new security architecture’

October 15, 2021

Islamabad Dr Mohammad Hassan Sheikholeslami, President, IPIS, has pointed out how Zionist attempts created instability in the Persian Gulf region and that all regional states should work closely together to create a new security architecture.

Dr Sheikholeslami was addressing the Annual Dialogue on bilateral and regional issues held between the Institute of Strategic Studies and the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), Iran.

Dr Sheikholeslami said that by working closely together, both Iran and Pakistan can champion shared goals and help counter any regional instability. He said that there is a greater need for global concerted efforts to promote multiculturalism. He observed that Pakistan and Iran share a common regional destiny.

Dr Hossein Ebrahim Khani from IPIS, said that with the arrival of the new Taliban establishment in Afghanistan, there is a changed atmosphere in the region. He hoped this would pave the way for Pakistan to enter into closer cooperation and collaboration with Iran.

Riffat Masood, former ambassador of Pakistan to Iran, said that now is the time for Iran and Pakistan to look beyond traditional rivalries and problems. She highlighted how the region is undergoing a major geostrategic shift and that regional countries should come together and work towards a peaceful stable Afghanistan.

Dr Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour, former President, IPIS, in his concluding remarks said that for the bilateral relationship to proceed, principles are needed to be in place. Player and partnership are important especially in light of events in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, he said adding that we see western powers gradually receding from the region, which means regional players have more space to formulate conducive partnerships towards shaping a new region which will benefit everyone.

Dr Saeed Ghaderi from IPIS said that the Taliban are a reality in Afghanistan. Two decades of US presence in Afghanistan created a crevice between the opinions of the Afghan public and the Taliban. The group also needs to give assurances that Afghan soil will not be used to target regional countries because there is a real threat that there may be the revival of terrorist threats. He opined that Afghanistan is a vulnerable point for the entire region which the US can exploit and misuse.

Amina Khan from ISS said that with the US exit and in the absence of a negotiated settlement, a takeover by Taliban was expected though the manner and the speed at which the group had taken over the country was certainly not anticipated.

Dr Mohsen Roohisefat from IPIS said that a lot of regional connectivity depends upon how well regional countries work together. A neighbourhood policy is obligatory for both Iran and Pakistan, he stressed adding that the MoUs signed between the two sides should be implemented.

Dr Talat Shabbir from ISS said that rapid transportation and easy communication are key for promoting regional connectivity which in turn is linked to peace. This is why stability in Afghanistan is key to establishing connectivity with the resource rich Central Asian States, he said.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director-General, ISS, that there is a mutual benefit in coordinating with each other since events in Afghanistan have a direct impact on both the countries.