LAHORE CENTER FOR PEACE RESEARCH (LCPR) ROUNDTABLE WITH CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (C.e.S.I.) ITALY

LAHORE CENTER FOR PEACE RESEARCH (LCPR) ROUNDTABLE WITH CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (C.e.S.I.) ITALY

Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR) hosted a roundtable meeting on: “Regional Security Situation in the Context of Traditional and Non-Traditional Threats”, at Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore on February 1, 2020.

The meeting was attended by an Italian delegation comprising of Professor Andrea Margelletti, President of C.e.S.I., Mr. Gabriele Iacovino, Director of C.e.S.I., Ms. Francessa Manenti, Senior Analyst (Asia), C.e.S.I  and Mr. Franco Coco, advisor to the Italian ambassador in Pakistan. The meeting was also attended by Shamshad Ahmad, Chairman LCPR, Dr. Mujahid Mansoori, Executive Director LCPR, Lt. Gen. (R) Javed Hassan, Director Pak-Turkey Studies Center, University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lt. Gen. (R) Nasir Janjua, former National Security Advisor (NSA) and Mr. Khalid Sherdil CEO Urban Unit.

In the opening remarks, Chairman LCPR, Mr. Shamshad Ahmad Khan said that Pakistan and Italy have had cordial relations in the past and they have convergent interests on various issues. President of C.e.S.I., Professor Andrea Margelletti who is also advisor to the Italian government on Security issues said that the world today is increasingly becoming bi-polar where we may see US and China as two poles and there exists a potential of escalation of clash of interests. He further added that both Italy and Pakistan can play a positive role in stabilizing the situation and Pakistan can see Italy as its strategic partner in the west. Gen. (R) Javed Hassan commented on the significance of the geo-politics in context of the interests of the superpowers in the South Asian region. Gen. (R) Nasir Janjua said that post World War II order has got degraded the global superiority is again under a delusion. Geo-politically it is under a paradigm shift. So, in such a situation, all of us are taking different sides or making corrections or making adjustments. The former NSA also said that Pakistan is a great country of future and so is Italy. He urged that both countries should come closer to do better and give better to the world.

Ms. Francessa Manenti floated an idea that the Italy and Pakistan have the potential to go for  joint ventures of trade and commerce and proposed that the two countries can produce a product bilaterally and sell it to a third market that can be Central Asia or South Asia. Mr. Franco Coco added to the point of potential for joint ventures between Italy and Pakistan that the Italian style suit he was wearing was made up of Italian fabric but was stitched by a Pakistani tailor. Mr. Khalid Sherdil also stressed upon enhancing economic and cultural promotion to strengthen the ties. He said Italy and Pakistan may be geographically far away from each other but they have a strong linkage through history and culture.

Mr. Shamshad Ahmad, Chairman LCPR, in his closing remarks said that both Pakistan and Italy need to enhance mutual cooperation on various regional and global issues. The meeting ended with signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between LCPR and C.e.S.I.

 

 

1st Intra-Afghan Roundtable; Islamabad

1st Intra-Afghan Roundtable; Islamabad

As part of the ‘Lahore Process’, Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR) organized an intra-Afghan dialogue roundtable at Serena Hotel Islamabad on January 14, 2020.

The Lahore Process for Intra-Afghan dialogue involving the leaders of the Afghan political parties and factions was initiated in June 2019 at Bhurban.
The Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR) offers a unique platform for political leaders, policy makers and civil society leaders from around the world to share ideas and to work together in the cause of peace.

The Islamabad roundtable was attended by a 13 member Afghan delegation led by Haji Muhammad Mohaqiq, Head of Hizb-e-Wahdat Mardam-e-Afghanistan. This was the first in a series of the similar intra-Afghan roundtables proposed to be held providing a platform to other Afghan political parties and groups to facilitate their mutual discussions on Afghanistan’s long awaited transition to peace.

During the Islamabad roundtable, the leaders from Hizb-e-Wahdat Mardam-e-Afghanistan agreed that Afghans alone are the final arbiters of their destiny and that an afghan led and afghan owned reconciliation was necessary to ensure smooth and orderly peace transition in Afghanistan. They also agreed that the process of intra-Afghan dialogue needs to be accelerated to sustain the peace momentum generated in recent months.

The Hizb-e-Wahdat Mardam-e-Afghanistan leaders appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in facilitating the Afghan Peace Process and thanked the LCPR for providing them with a friendly forum to pursue intra-Afghan dialogue.

Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR),
Islamabad.

International Conference On Kashmir Ankara (Turkey)

International Conference On Kashmir Ankara (Turkey)

“There is but one fair, just, legal and moral solution to Kashmir, which was provided by the United Nations acknowledging the right of the people of Kashmir to determine their own future through an impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices.” This was the message that came out loud and clear from a two-day international conference on Kashmir titled, “Kashmir Turmoil: Emerging Threats to Peace and the Role of International Community” organized by Lahore Center for Peace Research in collaboration with Turkish Think Tank “Institute of Strategic Thinking” (SDE) on 20-21 November 2019, in Ankara, Turkey.

The Conference was attended as special guests by President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan, Vice President of Turkey Mr. Fuat Oktay, Pakistan’s Senator Sherry Rehman, Member of UK Parliament Lord Nazir Ahmed, Chief Justice of Turkey Mr Ismail Rustu Cirit, Member of Turkish Parliament Erkan Akcay, member of Turkish Parliament Sureyya Sadi Bilgic, Chairman Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Coordinator, Self-Determination Council Mr. Ranjit Singh, President Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights Syed Nazir Gillani, Scholar-Historian and Author on Kashmir Prof Victoria Schofield, and CNN Anchor and Analyst Mrs. Kimberly Dozier.

Eminent speakers from several countries including Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia, Germany, Netherland, United Kingdom and United States participated in the Conference which was co-chaired by LCPR Chairman, Pakistan’s Former Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad and President of Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE) Muhammet Sawas Kafkasyali. The Conference was attended by a distinguished audience consisting of parliamentarians, academia, members of the diplomatic corps, journalists, members of think tank community and students.

The Conference reviewed the historical, legal, political and humanitarian dimensions of the current crisis in Kashmir where India is not only seeking to change the demographic reality of its occupied territories but also taking arbitrary measures in utter disregard of normal life through frequent curfews, arrests, detentions and sometimes disappearances of innocent civilians. A complete military lockdown keeps the people of Kashmir deprived of basic liberties including access to the outside world. The continued wholesale incarceration of Kashmiri political leadership including the erstwhile pro-India leaders has resulted in a political vacuum which carries the danger of hijacking of the resistance movement by extremist elements.

The Conference noted with concern the prospect of a genocide in Indian-occupied Kashmir, if the current military crackdown continues unabated. Besides the human rights abuses in Indian-held Kashmir, the basic dispute over the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir remains unaddressed. India and Pakistan have fought wars and still remain locked in a conflictual mode. Major powers and the United Nations have an obligation to prevent any new conflict between India-Pakistan over Kashmir.

As one of the oldest unresolved international conflicts, Kashmir today is a sombre reminder to the world that it cannot continue to ignore the legitimate aspirations of the Kashmiri people. A solution has to be found in conformity with the wishes of the Kashmiri people as called for in UN Security Council resolutions. There was consensus at the Conference that no matter what India claims, the situation in Kashmir today is highly worrisome requiring urgent intervention by the international community. The world community also needs to rush relief supplies to the beleaguered people in the Indian occupied Kashmir.

Specific recommendations emerging from the Conference include:

  • Kashmir is a question involving the fundamental right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people, pledged to them by the international community as well as by both India and Pakistan in UN Security Council resolutions. Beyond UNSC resolutions, there is no compact formula or tailor-made solution available for addressing this long outstanding issue.
  • Over the years, Kashmir has turned into a global issue of peace and security. It has magnified manifold becoming today a veritable nuclear flash point. The United Nations must fulfill its responsibility to prevent the Kashmir issue from erupting into another India-Pakistan conflict with perilous consequences for the region and beyond.
  • The world powers, including the United States should also facilitate these efforts to achieve a fair and lasting settlement of the dispute, fair to the people most immediately involved and fair to their own commitments to freedom and human rights. They must stand on the side of justice and legality. It will earn the gratitude of generations in Kashmir, in Pakistan and even in India itself.
  • To start with, India must restore normalcy in Kashmir by ending human rights abuses and its ill-motivated efforts to change the nature of the disputed territory through demographic engineering in Kashmir. Revocation of these illegal Indian actions and release of political and civilian prisoners followed by resumption of a political dialogue between the parties concerned could set the stage for a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir issue. Meanwhile India must avoid intimidation and hurling of threats against Pakistan.
  • The UN Secretary-General must also consider appointing an eminent person of an international standing from the list of World’s Elders as his special envoy on Kashmir to monitor the situation in Kashmir including the human rights situation and other illegal measures being taken by India to change the demographic reality of the occupied territory.
  • UN’s human rights agencies, notably the Human Rights Council, Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as other international agencies including ICRC, Amnesty International and International Crisis Group must remain engaged to monitor the on-ground situation in Indian-held Kashmir.
  • As recommended by United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights in their two successive reports, a commission of enquiry should be established to carry out independent investigation into human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir.

The Conference placed on record its gratitude to the Turkish Government for its cooperation and hospitality and also expressed appreciation to all the distinguished participants for their valuable contribution in making the Conference a great success.

Ankara (Turkey) November 22, 2019

2nd International Conference on Global Peace (IGCP)

2nd International Conference on Global Peace (IGCP)

Conference Theme: “Emergence of Inter-Regional Cooperation: shaping path of stability and prosperity”.

Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR) organized 2nd International Conference on Global Peace (IGCP) in collaboration with Turkish think-tank, Center for Strategic Studies of South Asia (GASAM) in Istanbul. The conference brought together many scholars, international experts, and diplomats in the city.

Chairman LCPR Mr. Shamshad A. Khan said, peace and development go hand in hand, and nothing can pave the way for peace and security more than economic development by adopting inter-regional cooperation. He said CPEC is not just a developmental project of bilateral level, adopting an approach of inter-regional cooperation Afghanistan, Central Asian land locked states, Iran and India can be beneficiary of CPEC. He highlighted the significance of vigorous campaigns at global level to resolve the long-standing questions of Palestine and Kashmir in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions.

The Conference participants emphasized that Asia must capitalize on its own resources and reclaim its role as a balancing factor in the world affairs by carving out a new niche for itself in the global geo-political matrix. Asian states must rise above the sub-regional mode and concentrate on a common Asian cause by concerting their policies on issues of global relevance. It is about time to rise above their differences and resolve conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy and built a legacy of peace for future generations.