Press release: April 2, 2018

Strategic Studies Institute Islamabad (SSII) organised a media workshop titled “Global Strategic Environment and Pakistan” on April 2, 2018. The purpose of the workshop was to provide the audience with an insight on important issues related to the evolving global strategic environment with a special focus on Kashmir dispute. The participants included journalists from various media houses.

Speaking on the occasion, DG SSII Dr Shireen M. Mazari discussed the prevailing international system and referred to Ralph Peter’s article titled: “Blood Borders” that was published in the June 2006 issue of the US Armed Forces Journal where he predicted that powerful Muslim states would be weakened and ultimately broken up which is exactly what is happening in contemporary Middle East. In the post-9/11 era, came the Greater Middle East Initiative GMEI, or Broader Middle East Initiative BMEI which claimed to promote liberal democracy and freedom of speech in these Muslim states, and resulted in the Arab Spring. There is still instability in the region which resulted in weakened Arab states. This instability created a power vacuum which further strengthened non-state actors and is reflected most clearly in the rise of the militant group Daesh. Dr Mazari said the Blood Borders designs would have implications for Pakistan as well. She said that in all recent policy documents released by the US including South Asia Strategy, National Security Strategy and National Defence Strategy the US criticises Pakistan’s role in the region while acknowledges India’s emergence as a great power and a strategic partner. It implies that the US, India and Israel’s relationship is based on strategic partnership while the US relations with Pakistan are transactional.

Talking about the Kashmir dispute, Dr Mazari said that Kashmir defines the perimeters of India and Pakistan relations. She said the Kashmir dispute should be resolved in accordance with the UNSC resolutions. She, however, pointed out that Pakistan lacks a viable Kashmir policy, which is the first and foremost step Pakistan should take for the resolution of the conflict. “Pakistan should have a clear-cut Kashmir policy…. The government needs a proactive policy regarding Kashmir in order to take the issue towards conflict resolution.” she said.

Dr Mazari emphasised that Pakistan should give full support to All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). She also criticised the Kashmir Committee for being inactive and ineffective.

In her concluding remarks, Dr Mazari said that Pakistan test fired Babur 3 Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) for the second time on March 29, 2018. She said that Babur 3 provides Pakistan a credible second-strike capability against India’s proactive nuclear strategy.

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