Pakistan truly stands at a historic juncture. The country’s strategic location, once being a liability is now a bridge between Europe and Asia. Centre of economic power is shifting from the West to East. Over the years Asia has become a leading player in the emerging economies of the world, Planning Commission of Pakistan Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz said.
Regional connectivity in Asia now lies at the centre of the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative, which aims at connecting Asia with Europe and CPEC, a central part of this network, is an all-inclusive economic corridor for the region, says a press release here on Monday.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Nasser Khan Janjua said that Pakistan by connecting 86 percent (as 60% of the world’s population lives in Asia; about 10 percent in Europe and 16 percent in Africa) of the people of the world is a massive potential trade and industrial hub.
He said this while speaking at the seminar on “Dynamics of Geopolitics, Regional Security and Economic Connectivity” organised by National Security Division (NSD), Government of Pakistan in collaboration with the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) here today, which was attended by the ambassadors of Central Asian Republics (CARs) in addition to other dignitaries.
The NSA urged CARs to utilise the huge potential of Balochistan and Access Sea through Gwadar, which is the world’s largest deep sea port. Balochistan is our face, he said. Pakistan will multiply the economy of the entire region.
Ali Alizada, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Pakistan enunciated that the landscape of the world was changing dramatically and countries were changing their state policies swiftly in the wake of unfolding global crescendos. Peace is the only option to move towards sustainable future. Pakistan has always supported peace and stability in the region and Azerbaijan is grateful to Pakistan for their positive role in this regard, the ambassador said.
Giving Turkey’s perspective, on the topic of the seminar, Professor Erhan Dogan from Marmara University, Istanbul, stated that Turkey has some regional calculations and some international. What China, USA and Russia envisage their role in other parts of the world definitely has significant impact over Turkey’s equation with the global world. The Turkish professor further that Pakistan and Turkey have common cultural heritage and people of Turkey have a great respect for Pakistan.
Kazakh Ambassador Barlybay Sadykov stated that confidence building measures should remain on the top agenda in order to maintain global security and ensure peace. International terrorism is a common threat and requires collective response. He further said that Afghan peace process must be Afghan led and Afghan owned, with that all share responsibility to assist Afghan peace process. Geopolitical and geo-economics of the region both offers opportunities and face threats. Geo-economics can press for the need of cooperation among nations, he added.
Gwadar is very important for Uzbekistan, said Uzbek Ambassador to Pakistan Furqat A Sidiqov, as the country needs access to warm waters. Furthermore, stability in Afghanistan is pivotal for both CARs and Pakistan in this regard for strengthening economic connectivity of the region.
Kyrgyz Ambassador to Pakistan hoped that the planned railway link from Kashghar in China to Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan under CPEC, after completion, will connect Pakistan to Kyrgyz Republic through rail network, leading to more economic opportunities.
In the search for optimal solutions to the accumulated problems of the region, Tajik Ambassador Sherali Jononov was of the view that the response to the global and regional challenges requires broad dialogue and concerted efforts of the entire international community.
This article originally appeared in The News, May 15, 2018. Original link.