Delegates of EFSAS meet executives of Think-tanks and academics of prestigious universities in Berlin, Germany
08-05-2017 till 10-05-2017
A delegation of EFSAS, consisting of Ms. Yoana Barakova – Research Analyst, Ms. Mara Nicolai – Research Analyst, Mr. Dušan Vejinović – Senior Research Analyst and Mr. Junaid Qureshi – Director, held various meetings with executives of think-tanks and academics of prestigious universities in Berlin, Germany. The situation in South Asia was an important topic during the discussions and an exchange of views on recent developments related to terrorism and politics in regional and global context also took place. Opportunities for future collaboration on research and organizing seminars and conferences with EFSAS, were also explored.
L to R: Ms. Mara Nicolai, Mr. Dušan Vejinović, Dr. Angela Stanzel, Ms. Yoana Barakova and Mr. Junaid Qureshi
In a meeting with Dr. Angela Stanzel, Policy Fellow for the Asia & China Programme of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), the role of China in South Asia in general and the construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in particular were discussed. While having a critical view of the human rights situation in China and the regions where China is investing, Dr. Stanzel also expressed careful optimism with regard to the economic prospects in the region due to Chinese investments.
Mr. Boris Wilke with delegates of EFSAS, Mr. Dušan Vejinović, Ms. Yoana Barakova, Ms. Mara Nicolai and Mr. Junaid Qureshi
EFSAS also met with Dr. Christian Wagner, Senior Fellow at the Asia Division of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP-German Institute for International and Security Affairs) – Europe’s largest think tank in the field of International Politics. Dr. Wagner is an expert in Indo-Pak Relations and the issue of Jammu & Kashmir. Complimenting sections of the Pakistani civil society for its slow, yet constant efforts to stabilize itself and make it more autonomous and less dependent on its Army, he described the level of autonomy in Pakistan Administered Kashmir as being ‘Autonomy double minus’ whereas he remarked that the autonomy level in Indian Administered Kashmir could be classified as ‘Autonomy plus’. He added that China, by investing billions in Pakistan and Gilgit Baltistan (part of the disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir), is relying and betting on the ‘status-quo of the issue of Jammu & Kashmir’ and thereby also hopes to gain strategic influence in Central Asia.
L to R: Mr. Dušan Vejinović, Mr. Junaid Qureshi, Dr. Christian Wagner, Ms. Yoana Barakova and Ms. Mara Nicolai
In another meeting held, Mr. Boris Wilke, Senior Researcher & Political Scientist at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG) of the Bielefeld University, analysed the rapprochement between Russia and Pakistan and its consequences vis-á-vis Afghanistan. He also said that at the same time, China’s growing engagement in Pakistan will have its effects on the relations between Pakistan and Russia. Discussing the issue of Jammu & Kashmir, Mr. Wilke was of the opinion that this conflict could and should act as a bridge between India and Pakistan to resolve other issues. Both countries should improve their bilateral ties and try to solve the less contentious issues while putting the issue of Jammu & Kashmir at the backburner. In the long term, economic interdependency, growing trade and cultural exchanges would assuage the complexities of the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and thereby lay foundation for a more stable and acceptable solution.
EFSAS delegation with Dr. Bettina Robotka.
Delegates of EFSAS also spoke to Dr. Bettina Robotka and Sadia Bajwa, Researchers on the history and society of Pakistan, focusing on the role of Islam of the Humboldt University of Berlin in which the current political situation in Pakistan and the relation with India was discussed extensively.