EFSAS holds meetings in Brussels on Pakistan, India, China, CPEC and Jammu & Kashmir
Representing the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS), Mr. Dušan Vejinović (Senior Research Analyst) and Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst) held meetings with policy analysts and accredited advisors of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in Brussels, with an extensive experience on the South Asian region and China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.
EFSAS conducted a meeting with Mr. Enrico D’Ambrogio and Ms. Gisela Grieger, policy analysts at the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). In a very thought-provoking and vibrant discussion, EFSAS and the representatives of EPRS deliberated upon the current situation in the region of Jammu & Kashmir, and examined various solutions, while also considering the involvement of China and the fact that talks between India and Pakistan are halted. Pakistan’s double standards in regard to a resolution to the Jammu & Kashmir conflict were further deliberated upon by discussing the contradiction of its government’s peace claims at the UN Security Council, while covertly supporting terrorist groups and extremists back home. In addition, the serious methodological and analytical flaws of the recent OHCHR Report on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir were further disscused, with an emphasis on the labelling of terrorists as ‘leaders’, and the subsequent commemoration of these terrorists by the Pakistan Post on special postage stamps portraying them as a ‘Freedom Icons’.
Mr. Dušan Vejinović and Ms. Yoana Barakova (EFSAS) with Mr. Enrico D’Ambrogio and Ms. Gisela Grieger (EPRS)
Ms. Gisela Grieger thoroughly described the geopolitical and economic drivers of China's New Silk Road strategy, particularly in regard to the building of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and the issues stemming from it. Concerns in relation to Pakistan’s capacity to repay the loans provided by China were expressed and political forecasts about the upcoming general elections in India were made as well.
EFSAS invited the representatives of the European Parliamentary Research Service to present their views during EFSAS’ upcoming seminar in the EU Parliament, titled ‘CPEC – East India Company Mark 2?’, which will deliberate upon the future of the China Pakistan Corridor and particularly the economic implications for Islamabad. According to analysts, Pakistan is progressively proving to be burdened with financial debts and risking of becoming socio-economically and politically subjugated by Beijing.
Mr. Dušan Vejinović and Ms. Yoana Barakova (EFSAS) with Mr. Barnabas Mester and Mr. Gábor Bodor
EFSAS also held a meeting with Mr. Barnabas Mester, Accredited Advisor of Mr. István Ujhelyi, MEP, Member of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China and Mr. Gábor Bodor, Head of Secretariat of the Europe China OBOR Culture & Tourism Development Committee. China’s involvement in the EU and its neighbourhood was discussed, with a focus on the mutual interests, or lack thereof, of the countries involved. Mr. Mester and Mr. Bodor conveyed their hopes for a balanced and peaceful cooperation, yet certain fears were also expressed towards this ‘grand’ connectivity strategy while drawing parallels with African and South Asian countries, which China has left in serious financial difficulties.
Opportunities for organising events together regarding issues pertaining to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) were further discussed.