REPORT ON THE ONE-DAY MEDIA WORKSHOP
“GLOBAL STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT & ISSUES OF TERRORISM AND NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION: PAKISTAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAMME”
APRIL 25, 2015
A 27 member journalist delegation was hosted by the Strategic Studies Institute Islamabad (SSII) for a one-day media workshop on “Global Strategic Environment & Issues of Terrorism and Nuclear Proliferation: Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme” (25 April 2015). The workshop comprised of three interactive sessions chaired by experts including DG SSII Dr. Shireen M Mazari, and Director General ACDA Strategic Plans Division Mr. Khalid Banuri.
Dr. Shireen M Mazari introduced the workshop with a brief overview of the world order in the post-Cold War era. She said that the world has two competing global orders. One is uni- polarity (single hegemon) and the other is the “Coalition of the Willing” while the whole notion of security has been redefined whereby the UN system has been undermined. After the Cold War, people started to assume that economics would dominate, but if we look at the collapse of the Soviet Union, militarisation has now become even more predominant than before. Economic issues are becoming militarised in many ways and they are now used for politico-military purposes.
She also mentioned that the contemporary international system is also marked with the phenomenon of globalisation, where the states are not the only actors in shaping the global environment. The international regimes coupled with Multi-National Corporations and Non-Governmental Organisations play a crucial role in policy making. Dr. Mazari argued that there is a myth created that Pakistan is militarily dependent on the US, however in reality Pakistan’s strategic weapons are indigenously developed. While discussing the prevailing international system, she also referred to Ralph Peter’s article titled: “Blood Borders” that was published after 9/11 in US Armed Forces Journal where he mentioned that the powerful Muslim states would be weakened and ultimately would be broken up which is exactly what is happening in the Middle East. In conclusion she highlighted that there is a window of opportunity for Pakistan to assert itself as it is located in a very significant geographic position.
During the course of the daylong workshop, issues of arms control and disarmament were also brought under discussion. Dr. Mazari highlighted how the Indo-US nuclear deal and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group waiver for India had undermined the global non-proliferation regime. She said that the contemporary non-proliferation debate was focused exclusively on the nuclear programmes of certain countries namely Iran and Pakistan. In order to make progress on the issue there was a need to talk about the proliferation by Western countries especially those supporting the Israeli nuclear programme. In conclusion Dr. Mazari suggested that the only way forward for both India and Pakistan was the security route to cooperation, which would be based on mutual trust and would enhance cooperation between both the nations. The session included discussion by the journalists on issues of nuclear policy.
During the following session, Director General ACDA (Strategic Plans Division) Mr. Khalid Banuri presented the contours of nuclear politics in South Asia and explained the uses of nuclear technology both for military and peaceful uses. He elaborated the Non-Proliferation efforts by international non- proliferation and disarmament regime. All sessions were followed by interactive discussions.