Seminar in Oxford University on Indo-Pak cooperation and peace in South Asia
Mr. Junaid Qureshi, Director EFSAS, was invited to make a Key-note speech at Oxford University during a Seminar titled, 'Indo-Pak Cooperation: The keystone to peace in South Asia'. The Seminar was followed by an interactive Q&A Session between the speakers and the audience. Mr. Junaid Qureshi explained in his speech that the region of South Asia harbours many interrelated conflicts: Conflicts between Afghanistan and Pakistan, between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, accusations of Pakistani sponsored terrorism by Iran against their Shia community, destabilizing factors like insurgencies in Balochistan and Sindh inside of Pakistan, forced conversions, Hindu ultra-nationalism and Chinese expansionist designs. He stressed that the Kashmir-issue along with its many interrelated layers like proxy warfare, political and historical sensitivities and the contention over water resources has been the biggest threat to peace and development in South Asia and that Kashmiris, along with common Indians and Pakistanis continue to suffer the heaviest losses because of the hostility between the two countries.
Video of the speech of Mr. Junaid Qureshi at Oxford University
He added that one of the main reasons that relations between India and Pakistan are not as we all would have wished for, is the sheer incompatibility between both India and Pakistan. While both countries have their own set of problems, the actual nature of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has proven to be conflicting with the nature of the Republic of India. The military in Pakistan has been de facto in charge of the country for nearly 70 years since the time Pakistan came into existence. The deep-rooted anti-India stand and inflexible hostility has been complemented by the continuous undermining of democratic institutions by the Army in Pakistan, which makes it difficult to know, whom to talk to in Pakistan when one is embarking on a path of normalizing relations. He ended his speech by saying that both countries should stop selling conflict and that there must be a sense of ownership by all. Both countries need to comprehend that while they are sovereign and independent, in order to ensure peace in South Asia, their very existence has become increasingly interdependent. There is an urgent need for an alternative national narrative within Pakistan to fight terrorism at the ideological level as it seems to be entrenched in the national ethos of the Pakistani State and large sections of its population. A narrative, that can only bolster if the people of Pakistan comprehend that there is a risk of permanent state of instability and international isolation if Pakistan does not adopt a resolute policy towards all terror groups operating on its territory and starts facilitating democracy by empowering democratic institutions to formulate internal and foreign policies.
Videos of the Q&A Session at the Seminar 'Indo-Pak Cooperation: 'The keystone to peace in South Asia' held at Oxford University