Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that world powers must cooperate by avoiding the risk of confrontation and the emerging nations must make immense contributions towards world peace and order.
The President made these remarks while addressing the second session on “Evolving Global Order” at the international seminar titled “Global Peace amidst War and Conflict”, organized by the Center for Peace, Security and Developmental Studies here today.
The President while talking to his audience highlighted that world order today is in flux. He said that there is a race for world dominance and asymmetric and bipolarity exists between China and the US, and the latter’s exceptionalism is being challenged. US and China, he said, should avoid confrontation and work together for peace and stability.
President Masood Khan said that the world today faces numerous challenges, like, the war on terror, issues of nuclear stability and non-proliferation, climate change, economic disparity and the rise of ethnic nationalism. Speaking on the negative impact of global economic disparity, he said that a recent study by Credit Suisse shows that 45.7 % of global household wealth is controlled by 0.7 % of the world’s population. Even more disturbing, he said, is Oxfam International has reported that 82% of the global wealth generated in 2017 alone went to 1% of the world population and 3.7 billion people (almost half of the world population) have seen no increase in their income.
President AJK said that we should work together as we have a crisis of shared values like the promotion of peace, security, development and human rights. He said that as new neighbourhoods emerge the nations of the world must strive towards reconstructing world order on modern lines. He said we must cooperate towards global stability. He said that trans-continental economic cooperation is key to regional and global peace and the Belt and Road Initiative will play a vital role in this regard; even though, India and its allies wrongly consider BRI a disruptive force jeopardising world order.
In this regard, the President said that Pakistan is walking a triangular tightrope of sorts where it has to balance its relations with the USA, China and Russia. He said that despite all its challenges, Pakistan must focus firstly on improving its economy; secondly, on social development; thirdly, on security and fourthly, on strengthening democracy. He added that our institutions must be further strengthened and safeguarded. He said that Pakistan’s survival was due to its institutions and he urged against their dismantlement.
Pakistan, he said, has a huge youth bulge and we need to invest heavily in education and skill development. He said that our nation must not be underrepresented at international forums and our presence must be pronounced and evident.
President Masood Khan said that we must remain focused and stay on course towards the completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said that CPEC is only the beginning and must continue to explore new economic corridors for integrating Pakistan in the international economic mainstream.
Speaking on relations within the Sub-Continent, President Azad Kashmir said that full rapprochement with India would not be possible without the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. He said that Pakistan must continue investing in the peace process within Afghanistan and bring all interlocutors to the dialogue table.
In his concluding remarks, while acknowledging the evolving global order, the President said that we must work towards our common goals and strive towards alleviating poverty, attain new heights in education and technology. He said we must unite against rising ethnic nationalism, religious extremism, collaborate for world peace, rule of law and avoid confrontational politics and policies. “We must strive to see that the world does go back to its primordial conflicts”, he said.
He urged the participants to play an active role in highlighting the Kashmir issue and raising the profile of this long-standing conflict. He invited all the foreign participants to visit Azad Kashmir and see for themselves the development taking place in AJK.
The session was also addressed by Dr. Natalia Piskunova, Professor at Moscow State University; Mr. Andrew Small, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund, USA and Dr. Wei Zongyou, Professor at Fudan University, China. The event was attended by Air Chief Marshal (retired) Sohail Aman, Dr. Salman Shah, former Finance Minister; Lt. General Agha Umer Farooq, President CPSD; leading researchers, academicians and representatives of the print and electronic media.