Feb 06, Colombo: The High Commission of Pakistan organized a seminar titled 'Prospects of Peace, Progress and Prosperity in South Asia' at BMICH Colombo on 5th February 2019. Various aspects of progress, development and resolution of conflicts in South Asian region were discussed during the Seminar.
Eminent scholars, Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery, President, Centre for Global and Security Studies, Pakistan; Mr. Ameen Izzadeen, senior journalist and Editor, International Desk, Wijeya Newspapers, and High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Maj. Gen. (R), Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat, addressed the seminar.
Mr. Izzadeen, highlighted that South Asian region is an abode of diverse cultures and deep rooted historicity. The major indicators of development are economic growth, equity in distribution of resources and overall quality of life, which is very difficult to achieve and sustain without solidarity and resolution of conflicts, including Kashmir issue.
Maj. Gen. (R) Jaffery, while speaking on the occasion, noted that the Kashmir issue is not just a dispute between Pakistan and India but it was a regional as well as an international issue pertaining to right of self-determination of many million Kashmiris. The adverse effects of non-resolution of Kashmir dispute are felt regionally and internationally. He also said that the Kashmiris are suffering for last seven decades. They have faced extra judicial killings, women are dishonored and raped, men and children have been blinded by using pellet guns. The International Community must respond to this humanitarian crisis with full responsibility.
High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Hashmat, in his concluding remarks, said that integration of regional economies is the best way for peace, prosperity and economic growth in this age of globalization. ASEAN and EU are good role models for other regions to achieve accelerated economic growth and social progress. SAARC, if made more effective could become an engine of growth for South Asia, which will be possible only after the resolution of all disputes in the region including the Kashmir Dispute.
The High Commissioner also asserted that Pakistan is seeking peaceful resolution of the Kashmir Dispute through meaningful and comprehensive dialogue with India. The resolution of disputes can be attained through bilateral negotiations and regional and international mediation. If there is no peace, there will be no political stability, and if there is no stability, no economic progress can take place, he underscored.
The seminar was largely attended by the people from different walks of life including diplomats, vice chancellors, senior officers from Sri Lankan armed forces, members of Pakistani community, students of different universities, participants from think tanks, and officials of the High Commission.