Govt making efforts to promote economic ties with neighbours: Tariq Fatimi

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi said Pakistan wanted good relations with its neighbours and visits of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Iran and India were reflective of government’s efforts to promote bilateral ties and economic cooperation.

Addressing inaugural session of the two-day international conference, entitled “Pakistan’s Strategic Environment Post-2014”, Fatimi said Pakistan was also focusing on improving its relations with United States, European Union, Russia, Japan and African and Latin American countries.

Pakistan was looking to improve its economic conditions and attract more foreign investment by working together with other countries, he added.

Chairman Department of International Relations, University of Peshawar, Dr. Adnan Sarwar, while talking about likely scenarios in post-2014 Afghanistan, said there was likelihood that Afghanistan emerged as stable and democratic country, particularly after signing Bilateral Security Agreement with United States.

But another scenario could be reversal to the pre 9/11 situation due to increasing military and political influence of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, he added.

Talking about Post-2014 Challenges in Afghanistan and India’s role, Chairperson School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Dr Gulshan Sachdeva said reconciliation will be promoted in Afghanistan with the largescale participation of voters in the presidential elections.

He said India was playing an active role in Afghanistan.

Sachdeva said the declared objectives of Pakistan and India were the same in Afghanistan, adding it will be more beneficial for the two countries if they started cooperating in Afghanistan.

Senior Researcher at International Peace Research Institute Dr. Bruce Koepke while expressing views on the topic of “Role of Regional Organizations in Stabilizing Afghanistan,” said legal frameworks were in place for regional countries to cooperate on issues of drugs trafficking, security and economic projects.

Assistant Prof Dr Shabir Ahmad Khan, Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar while presenting his paper on “Dynamics of Trade Corridors and Energy Pipelines’ Politics”, said Central Asia was rich in hydrocarbon resources because of which major powers were maintaining their presence in the region.

Head of Research Division German Institute for International and Security Affairs Dr Markus Kaim presented his paper on EU-Pakistan relations while Director General Institute for Strategic Studies National Defence University Maj General Noel Israel Khokhar expressed views on challenges and prospects of US and NATO engagement in the region.