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Need stressed for revisiting Pak-Gulf relations for utilization of inherent potential.

ISLAMABAD -- The relationship between Pakistan and the Gulf states presents a composite view of shared experience, aspirations, interests and of common destiny.

It is therefore important to revisit our strengths and engage in a wholesome approach to fuller utilization of our inherent potential."

This was stated by Senator Sehar Kamran, President Centre for Pakistan Gulf Studies while delivering her concluding remarks at the end of inaugural seminar "Innovating Pakistan and Gulf Relations" organised by the newly established think-tank here.

Senator Sehar Kamran said that the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies indeed the vehicle of a new vision and a pace-setter for intellectual pursuits. She said that objective of the institution was to promote regional harmony, global peace, security and stability by making substantive intellectual, academic and diplomatic contributions.

She said that the assembly of intellectuals and policy makers has made a significant contribution towards the development of thought on critical issues. This has marked only the beginning of a process but with a resolve to engage ourselves with greater challenges in the scholastic arena, she said.

"The Gulf and Pakistan remain on high pedestal from the geo-strategic perspective in view of its images as the life-line of the world economy and relevance for peace and progress in a trans-regional setting", she said adding that it was therefore important to realize that search for stability is very much contingent upon the interplay of the region-based interests with that of the predominant extra-regional stakeholders.

Chairman Advisory Board of the CPGS, General (retd) Ehsan-ul-Haq, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee termed the launching of the think tank as a "long overdue initiative". Stressing the need to develop structure and initiate dialogue, General Ehsan said he was confident that it would effectively advance the common goals.

Addressing the seminar, member advisory board of the CPGS and Chairman Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, Major General (r) Dr. Anwar bin Majed bin Anwar Eshki said: "The US is strong not because of weapons, but due to its strategic centers".

Dr. Eshki enlisted human resource, religion and geography that are reinforced by culture and civilization as important factors in relations between the two blocks of Gulf countries and Pakistan, which presents exceptional opportunities for all stakeholders.

The two interactive working sessions in the seminar initiated an academic debate on the challenges confronted by the region, while emphasizing the importance of dialogue and peace. The seminar was attended by diplomats, intellectuals, scholars, former top brass, students and the civil society members.

The first session was moderated by Lt. Gen (r) Agha Muhammad Umar Farooq, SVP of CPGS, and Faheem Al Hamid, Assistant Editor-in-Chief Okaz Arabic and Saudi Gazette. The paper on "The emerging Dynamics of energy Security of the Gulf Region: Prospects and Challenges" was presented by Tahir Sher Muhammad while Air Commodore (r) Khalid Iqbal spoke on "Afghanistan Sans Foreign Troops and Options for Pakistan."

The second working session was conducted by General Eshki and Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Dean Faculty of Contemporary of Studies at the National Defense University (NDU). Ambassador Arif Kamal spoke about Pak-Gulf Relations: Past, Present and Future. Mr. Syed Shaukat Hasan, Director, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) made a presentation on "the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy: Pakistan's Experience" as well.

In his concluding remarks Editor-in-Chief Urdu News, Saudi Arabia, Tarek Mishkhas remarked, "Creation of the CPGS is a step in the right direction and was needed much before." Emphasizing the importance of research and dialogue, Mishkhas said it should be the beginning for creating a net of think tanks in the region "to provide a road map for our leadership for our future."
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 23, 2013
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