A two-day “International Conference on US-NATO exit from Afghanistan: Challenges and Options Beyond 2014” concluded on Thursday at National University of Modern Languages (NUML). The NUML Department of International Relations, Conflict and Peace Studies had arranged the conference.
Scholars from abroad and across Pakistan who addressed the conference called for sustained international effort for promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan after the drawdown of US-NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014.
Speakers highlighted Pakistan’s importance in promoting peace in Afghanistan in the interest of international security.
Ambassador George Savuica, President Romanian Institute for European Asian Studies, who chaired a session on Thursday, stressed the need for taking political and economic measures in Afghanistan by the international community to promote peace and stability in that country.
He said Pakistan is the foremost country committed to promoting peace in Afghanistan but other regional countries as well as the world at large should also contribute towards this goal. He also said the problem in Afghanistan should be resolved following the ASEAN model.
Prof Dr Pervez Iqbal Cheema, Dean Faculty of Contemporary Studies, National Defence University, Islamabad, gave a thorough analysis of the Afghan situation from a historic perspective. He said Pakistan has suffered most from instability in Afghanistan and has been making strenuous efforts to promote peace and stability in that country.
Dr Tabasum Firdous from Centre of Central Asian Studies, University of Kashmir (Indian Held Kashmir), in her paper laid stress on economic development of Afghanistan saying it is through such progress that the people of Afghanistan would be able to achieve social and political advancement. She pointed out that an economically backward Afghanistan cannot be expected to resolve its political problems.
Saleem Safi, a prominent journalist and analyst, in his address brought in focus the Afghan traditions relating to politics and said the people of Pakistan should be left alone in sorting out their problems without outside interference. He said Afghanistan and Pakistan will never go against each others’ interest and they are closely linked through history and culture.
Professor Ejaz Khan, Peshawar University, said the US had no intentions to disengage from Afghanistan and will remain engaged for an indefinite time. He explained that there will be transformation of engagement in 2014, not disengagement. He also highlighted Iran’s interest in Afghan peace.
Dr Muhammad Khan, National Defence University, highlighting China’s role in promoting peace in Afghanistan said Chinese companies are taking more and more interest in economic projects in Afghanistan. China is likely to make significant contribution in Afghanistan’s development after 2014, he said.