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World

IPRI holds webinar on the regional importance of the Afghan peace process

  • On Friday, the Islamabad Policy Research Institute held a webinar on the “Afghan Peace Process and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)”, featuring Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister, and Vladimir Norov, Secretary General of the SCO, as the keynote speakers.
  • The webinar was the first of its kind to host Central-South Asian countries in an attempt to discuss the regional connectivity pursuits, and opened a broader discussion on the sustainability of the Afghan peace process.
Published January 30, 2021

On Friday, the Islamabad Policy Research Institute held a webinar on the “Afghan Peace Process and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)”, featuring Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister, and Vladimir Norov, Secretary General of the SCO, as the keynote speakers.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi recognised that peace in Afghanistan is critical for regional connectivity, adding that "With connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia, access to Arabian Sea will be strengthened and Intra-regional trade will get a boost”.

Qureshi also articulated that the dividends of sustainable peace in Afghanistan would endure in the region, in terms of connectivity and trade.

His Excellency Vladimir Norov, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, stressed on the importance of the hard-fought peace process in strengthening the stability and security in the region, proposing that expansion of Afghanistan’s export potential, implementation of energy projects such as CASA-1000 and TAPI pipeline, and transport corridors.

Syed Asad Gillani, Ambassador of Pakistan to the Republic of Uzbekistan, elaborated upon the enormous trade potential, which could be realized once peace is achieved in Afghanistan, with Dr. Eldor Aripov, Director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies, elaborated that historically Afghanistan has been a bridge between Central Asia and South Asia, and it is time to revive the historical role of the country in the region.

Pang Chunxue, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China also appreciated the substantial role played by Prime Minister Imran Khan and COAS Asim Bajwa in the ongoing Afghan Peace Process.

The constraints to the peace process is the current rampant threat in Afghanistan, with Jumakhon Giyosov, Director of the Executive Committee SCO-RATS, mentioned the increase in number of militants, and expanding presence of ISIS posing a significant threat to the process as a whole, highlighting the need for developing and deepening cooperation between SCO member states in countering challenges and threats resulting from terrorism and extremism.

The webinar was the first of its kind to host Central-South Asian countries in an attempt to discuss the regional connectivity pursuits, and opened a broader discussion on the sustainability of the Afghan peace process and the need for regional economic cooperation.

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