Counter-insurgency efforts of Pak security forces lauded

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Counter-insurgency efforts of Pak security forces lauded
ISLAMABAD: Ex-Chief of Staff, NATO, Lt General (Retd) Phil Jones, Lt General (Retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi, Ambassador of Iran Mehdi Honardoost, Deputy Head of EU delegation, Ms Anne Marchal and DG Pakistan House, Rana Athar Javed addressing the conference organized by Pakistan House.

ISLAMABAD: Former Chief of Staff, NATO Lt General (Retd) Phil Jones appreciated Pakistan’s security forces counter-insurgency efforts. Pakistan’s allies should prioritize their values more than interests. Addressing International Seminar on Pakistan’s Geostrategic Requirements: Strategic Alliances or Partnerships organized by Pakistan House he added that Pakistan shall base its relationship on long term alliances rather than focusing on short term gains, says a Press release.
He highlighted three potential areas for increased engagement: Firstly, forging closer relationships based on intensified trade opportunities, while encouraging and supporting the diversification of economics and economic partners. Secondly, regional military cooperation and thirdly military relations with other countries such as UK, that are strategic and enduring. Pakistan’s military cooperation with West is very important, he further added. Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost highlighted the impact of geography on geopolitics.
He said that the basic factor that distinguishes Pakistan is Islam that is why relations with Islamic countries have been and are a priority. It is the priority of Iran to establish relations with Pakistan based on the same factor. He stressed on the construction of IP pipeline to help overcome energy crisis in Pakistan.
He further added that Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and some other regional countries who unfortunately have become ignorant and look forwards towards US can create a great alliance in this geopolitical and sensitive region. He emphasized that Iran and Pakistan being neighbor countries have important role in Afghanistan after end of cold war, overcoming the problems in this region and especially in the recent times after new strategy of the US administration regarding Afghanistan which is opposed by the two countries.
“Today the need for cooperation between Iran and Pakistan for bringing durable peace in Afghanistan is realized more than any time before” He further added.
Addressing the seminar, Ms. Anne Marchal, Deputy Head of the EU delegation to Pakistan said that Pakistan and EU have a decent relationship since 1962 when EU was just an economic community but there is much more that can be achieved in this regards to migration and trade.
She said that EU-Pakistan relations are all encompassing having geo-strategic significance.
She highlighted that Pakistan and EU are working together in different areas such as Education,
Climate Change and capacity building. Pakistan has a key role in the region and peaceful and stable Pakistan is very important for the European Union. No one can ignore Pakistan’s role in
Afghanistan. Former Corps Commander XI Corps, Lt General (Retd) Khalid Rabbani said that expansion of war in Afghanistan cannot result in peace. Therefore, it is time for diplomacy and dialogue. Pakistan supports the home-grown local solution for Afghanistan.
Pakistan wants peaceful dialogue between the United States and Taliban therefore Pakistan has
offered itself for mediation many times. Speaking of Pak-US relations he used Henry Kissinger’s words “Superficial friendliness” to describe the relations between the two countries. He added that whatever goes wrong in the region is blamed on Pakistan. On the issue of border fencing he said that it is for safe guarding both countries from control cross border infiltration. Pakistan’s role in settlement of Afghan refugees and border management cannot be ignored. Ambassador (Retd) Abdul Basit said that India is using the issue of terrorism in order to avoid talks with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir. Whatever we do until Kashmir issue is settled, Pakistan and India cannot have good relations.
Therefore, the settlement of Kashmir issue is prerequisite for improvement of Indo-Pak relations. He further added that it is India which is responsible for stalemate that is prevailing and it is trying to isolate Pakistan and using Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan as evident from Kulbushan Yadav case.
He suggested that dialogue process must be resumed, cease fire agreement 2003 shall be implemented again and joint mechanism consisting of foreign secretaries and National Security Advisors shall be initiated.
Speaking on the occasion Director General Pakistan House, Rana Athar Javed said that Pakistan House is an independent think tank working on solutions on core foreign policy issues. It organized this International Conference to bridge gaps between the foreign countries and Pakistan.
The other speakers in the conference: Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Air Marshal Syed Athar Hussain Bukhari, Kamal Alam highlighted that Pakistan’s geo-strategic location is a pivot of present geopolitical scenario. Therefore, it shall have long term strategic partnership based on its national interest in the region. A new great game is emerging in Afghanistan where Pakistan has a key role to play. They also give practical solutions in this regard.

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