Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, represented Pakistan at the 5th Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), as Special Envoy of the Prime Minister. The Summit was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 15 June 2019.
In her statement at the Summit, Special Envoy Dr. Sania Nishtar shared Pakistan’s perspective on the evolving global and regional trends, noting that CICA had the potential to help advance effective solutions to challenges in the areas of peace, security and development.
The Special Envoy drew attention of the Summit to the suppression of the Kashmiri people and to their legitimate struggle for self-determination. Dr. Nishtar also highlighted the long-standing nature of the internationally-recognized Jammu & Kashmir dispute. The Special Envoy underscored Pakistan’s efforts to shape a vision and political discourse in South Asia, based on dialogue, confidence-building and peaceful settlement of disputes.
The Special Envoy highlighted the unparalleled efforts, achievements and sacrifices of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. Underlining the importance of enhanced international cooperation for effective counter-terrorism strategy, the Special Envoy stressed the need for earnestly addressing the root causes of terrorism. She also called for filling the gap in UN Security Council’s counter-terrorism sanctions by including in its purview individuals and organizations that had committed acts of terrorism but remained outside its jurisdiction so far.
The Summit adopted a Declaration centered on the theme of “Shared Vision for a Secured and More Prosperous CICA Region.” The Declaration inter alia called for building common, comprehensive and sustainable security in Asia as well as pursuit of common development, partnerships and connectivity in Asia. It underlined the need for devising a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism including through elimination of conditions conducive to terrorism. The Summit Declaration also cautioned against politicization of the UN Security Council counter-terrorism sanctions architecture, noting that such steps undermined UN Charter principles and sanctions regime.
On the sidelines of the Summit, Special Envoy Dr. Sania Nishtar met the Tajik Minister of Health and Social Protection. She also interacted with dignitaries from Thailand and other participating countries.
The Summit was chaired by Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and attended by Heads of State and Government as well as Ministers from CICA region.
Consisting at present of 27 members from Asia and over a dozen Observers, CICA was launched in 1993 as a platform for dialogue and consultations to promote cooperation in the areas of peace, development and stability in the region through confidence-building measures. Kazakhstan, Turkey and China have hosted previous CICA Summits. CICA has a Secretariat based in Kazakhstan.
Pakistan has regularly participated in CICA Summits and contributed significantly to its deliberations. Pakistan’s participation in the 5th Summit in Dushanbe is illustrative of its commitment to the realization of CICA’s vision of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia.