China-India-Pakistan ties will ensure peace in Asia: speakers
LAHORE: A seminar organised by the Pakistan National Forum on Saturday stressed the need for a strong China-India-Pakistan relationship to ensure peace and economic development in the region.
Speakers at the seminar titled “The future of Pakistan in the present international scenario” urged the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to unify Muslim countries to compete with the challenges posed by superpowers in the future.
They also said that Arab countries should also unite, as economic development would depend on oil for at least 20 to 25 years.
Awami Qiadat Party chief Gen (r) Mirza Aslam Beg, former Punjab Assembly speaker Muhammad Hanif Ramay, former Local Bodies Minister Brig (r) Hamid Saeed Akhtar, Col (r) Ikramullah and Senator SM Zafar also spoke on the occasion and stressed long-term peace between India and Pakistan so that both countries could divert their attention towards development instead of increasing their nuclear stockpiles.
Gen (r) Beg said the world had changed after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan must try its best to be a part of the strategic and economic world order. He said South Asian countries, European Union states, Russia, India, China and the US would be the future superpowers and Pakistan must develop good relations with them.
Mr Ramay said the Americans had been corrupted due to its power and was bullying smaller countries to counter the emergence of new superpowers such as China, India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, Pakistan was under pressure because of the lack of power and therefore it must develop good relations with India and China to counter the American threat, he added. Being nuclear powers, India and Pakistan had an equal status and both countries should resolve the Kashmir issue through bilateral talks, he said, adding that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), OIC and other countries friendly with Pakistan should also come forward to resolve the Kashmir issue.
He urged the government to stop creating dissent among the provinces and provincial autonomy should be given to the provinces to avoid an East Pakistan-like situation in the country. The Punjab should be divided into two or more provinces for administrative purposes, Mr Ramay said.
Brig (r) Saeed said Pakistan had lost the chance to reduce its debt (external and internal) during the US attack on Afghanistan. Becoming a frontline state for the US attack on Afghanistan had not guaranteed the protection of Pakistan’s rights and was one of the Pakistani government’s biggest mistakes, he added. India and America had the same strategic interests and Pakistan must protect its economic interest while settling the Kashmir issue with India, he said, adding that Pakistan’s canal system was linked to Kashmir and Pakistan should keep its economic interest in mind before talking to India.
Senator Zafar said the OIC should facilitate the exchange of science and technology among Muslim countries. The Islamic world should strengthen itself in all fields to counter developing countries, he said, adding that only unity could ensure the rightful place of the Islamic world in the new world order.
He said the provision of justice was the only way of changing the system. The government should stop interfering in the judiciary so that the courts could make decisions independently, he added. The state and judiciary were the only institutions that could change the society and in this regard the judiciary must be independent, he said. He urged Pakistan’s political forces to forge mutual understanding to restore real democracy in the country.