"Pakistan-Gulf Strategic Relations"Joint Workshop sponsored by the:Gulf Research CenterandThe Institute of Strategic Studies, IslamabadMarch 8-9, 2007Islamabad, Pakistan
Introduction:The Gulf Research Center (GRC) and the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) will hold a joint workshop on Pakistan-Gulf Strategic Relations on March 8-9, 2007 in Islamabad. The aim of the workshop is to assess current strategic relations and forecast future trends in terms of the political, economic and security aspects of relations between Pakistan and the GCC States. There have been critical developments in these areas which not only impact inter-regional relations but also affect the political and economic environment within these states.Pakistan’s geo-strategic position as well as its close and long-standing relations with the GCC States are an important factor in shaping their respective policies vis-à-vis other regional neighboring countries. For example, many states in South West Asia and Central Asia are keen on extending energy and trade links and developing crucial communication networks with the GCC States. Similarly, Pakistan’s importance as a key regional player in influencing and shaping developments in Afghanistan, as well as the significance of its close relations with China and Iran that could influence the regional security environment cannot be underestimated. The fact that Pakistan enjoys close relations with the GCC states could play a mutually beneficial role in political dealings with other regional players.The workshop will provide a platform to look at some important issues that need to be explored in depth, considering the commonalities the two sides share. Some significant topics that will be addressed include the political environment in the region which remains threatened by the growing instability in Afghanistan, the Iranian nuclear program, and the forward movement in the peace initiative on Kashmir. The workshop will also focus on security issues. Terrorism, soft security issues such as narcotics and human trafficking, and the rise of militant Islam will be among the topics discussed. Another common security concern is the flow of illegal immigrants from Pakistan to the GCC states.Pakistan and the GCC states have already demonstrated the need for a joint effort to combat terrorism. Collaborative efforts to counter terrorism and contain the threat posed by human and narcotics trafficking are already being made by the governments of both Pakistan and the GCC states. There is a further need to develop these efforts. Besides, it is necessary to devise a grassroots-level program and develop sustained long- term policies that will address the root causes of terrorism. Such policies should also be looking at developing a comprehensive educational curriculum for schools and religious institutions that by inculcating proper Islamic teachings could serve as an effective deterrent against vested interests seeking to incite hatred and violence by the misuse and abuse of Islamic education. It is also important to look at the rise of militant Islam and review measures which need to be implemented to combat the conflagration of extremism. Pakistan has always played an active role in training and providing military education to officers in the armed forces and civic security institutions of the GCC States. The workshop will review the existing military ties including trade in arms and defense systems. It will also look at the possibility of extending potential support of the Pakistan armed forces for regional defense in case of external threat to the GCC States. Another significant contribution Pakistan could offer to the GCC States is to provide nuclear technology for developing a peaceful nuclear program, with the approval and supervision of the IAEA.Political stability and regional security are factors that are inextricably linked to the development of better economic relations between the GCC States and Pakistan. The recent surge in GCC investments in key sectors such as telecommunications, real estate and infrastructure development, energy, steel and shipping is an indicator of the growing confidence in the stability and future potential of the Pakistan economy.The GRC-ISSI workshop hopes to highlight the significant themes that define the relations between Pakistan and the GCC States. This will be a useful endeavor to bring into focus the above-mentioned key themes and chalk out future development of ideas that are mutually beneficial not only to Pakistan and the GCC States but also other regional countries.
Enter your email to subscribe to the GRC mailing list
© 2002-2013 Gulf Research Center. All rights reserved.
The Gulf Research Center logo is a registered trademark of Gulf Research Center.