EFSAS holds meetings with European experts on South Asia in Brussels
A delegation of EFSAS consisting of Ms. Danielle DePaulis (Research Analyst) and Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst) held a meeting with Ms. Dorothée Vandamme, Research Assistant at the Centre for the Study of Crises and International Conflicts of the Université Catholique de Louvain, and a Research Fellow at the Genesys Network. Ms. Vandamme’ s work focuses on Pakistan’s foreign policy and the evolving Asian regional context, with an emphasis on Sino-Pak relations, terrorist- and insurrection movements and hierarchies of power.
Ms. Yoana Barakova (EFSAS) with Ms. Dorothée Vandamme, Research Assistant at the Centre for the Study of Crises and International Conflicts of the Université Catholique de Louvain, and a Research Fellow at the Genesys Network
During the meeting, EFSAS deliberated upon the construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its financial implications regarding Pakistan’s economic stability. Relying on Beijing’s history of trade relations with Sri Lanka and some African countries, EFSAS elaborated that the infrastructural megaproject might lead to Pakistan becoming progressively subjugated by China and its terms and conditions. Ms. Vandamme also argued that what the common Pakistani people had initially perceived as a golden opportunity could soon prove to be a debt trap. She further stated that the Chinese are playing a dangerous game, considering the presence of terrorist outfits on the territory of Pakistan and the ongoing sectarianist movements in its north-western province of Xinjiang, especially since the amplified frustration of realizing that the CPEC does not live up to its promises, could foster violent extremist sentiments among the population.
The Jammu & Kashmir conflict, the continuous warfare between India and Pakistan and the potential intervention of the US were further discussed. EFSAS was delighted to invite Ms. Dorothée Vandamme to present the findings of her research and express her views during their upcoming events in order to raise awareness about the potential dangers, which surround the construction of the CPEC and the ensuing repercussions for the local populations.
Ms. Yoana Barakova and Ms. Danielle DePaulis (EFSAS) with Ms. Monika Nogaj (Acting Head of Unit) and Mr. Enrico D’Ambrogio (Policy Analyst) of the Directorate-General for the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS)
EFSAS also met representatives of the Directorate-General for the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). Ms. Monika Nogaj (Acting Head of Unit) and Mr. Enrico D’Ambrogio (Policy Analyst) outlined the mission of the ERPS, explaining how it is the European Parliament's in-house Think Tank and research service, which aims to provide Members of the European Parliament and Parliamentary Committees with independent, objective and authoritative analysis of, and research on, policy issues relating to the European Union and its foreign affairs in order to assist them in their parliamentary work. They further pointed out how the EPRS identifies, tracks and analyses long- and medium-term global trends, which may affect the European Union.
On those lines, the Jammu & Kashmir conflict was discussed in-depth, with a focus on the recent Report on the region drafted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). EFSAS highlighted the serious methodological, factual and analytical flaws of the said report which have led to numerous controversies regarding its correctness, neutrality, and above all motives. The future of the country of Pakistan post the 2018 elections was further examined, indicating that despite the remarkably rare successive transition to democratic rule, the victory of Imran Khan technically implies that the Military Establishment has succeeded in securing a stronghold in the civilian government.
The representatives of ERPS invited EFSAS to provide its expertise on current developments in South Asia; opportunities for future collaboration and joint events were additionally explored.