Seminar focuses on joint declaration for ensuring regional peace

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Speakers at a seminar held here Tuesday at the Institute of Management Sciences stressed the need for removing the mistrust and improving relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan so that the two neighbouring countries could coordinate efforts to restore peace in the region.

The seminar on the “Joint Declaration on Regional Peace and Stability in Afghanistan Region: 2014 and Beyond” was jointly organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a German political foundation, and the Regional Institute of Policy Research and Training (RIPORT), a Peshawar-based organization.

Faculty members and students of IMSciences and some guests attended the seminar. Also in attendance were members of the Pakistan Policy Group that had taken part in the deliberations with policy group from Afghanistan and other neighbouring countries that culminated in formulating the joint declaration. After the presentations, a lively question-answer session was held.

IMSciences Director Dr Mohsin welcomed the panelists and the participants at the seminar and said his institute encouraged such academic activities.Philipp Kauppert, Resident Director of the FES Pakistan, introduced the seminar’s subject and objective and talked about his organization’s South Asia Regional Peace and Security Project. He said the outcome of the project was Afghan-led and owned and the regional declaration contained inputs from around 60 experts and opinion-makers from not only Afghanistan, but also Pakistan, India, Iran, China, Central Asian countries, Turkey, etc. He said FES facilitated the process, but didn’t interfere in the work of the policy groups.

A short documentary on “Afghanistan Post-2014” was also screened during the seminar.Khalid Aziz, retired civil servant now heading the RIPORT and convener of the Pakistan Policy Group, highlighted the salient points from the joint declaration and explained the way forward in meeting the goals listed in it.

Senior journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, who is also a member of the Pakistan Policy Group, made a presentation on the “Highlights of the Current Pak-Afghan Relations.” Another member of the Pakistan Policy Group, Dr Yousaf Sarwar, who is a former president of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industries, spoke about the important Pak-Afghan trade issues.Qazi Humayun, a former diplomat who also served as Pakistan’s ambassador in Afghanistan, also spoke on the occasion.

Source: The News.