Seminar on Pakistan after Elections and Prospects of relations with India
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Vivekananda International Foundation organized a two day seminar on “Pakistan after elections and prospects of relations with India” on August 5-6, 2013. The first day began with a keynote address by Amb K S Bajpai, former Indian Ambassador to the US.

The first session of the seminar was chaired by Amb Lalit Mansingh, former Indian High Commissioner to the UK, and it focussed on the challenges faced by the new Government in Pakistan. Mr Sushant Sareen, Security and Defence expert and a Senior Fellow at VIF, gave a presentation on the economic aspect of the challenges facing Pakistan, focussing primarily on the energy, fiscal and foreign exchange crises. A presentation was made by Dr Ashok Behuria of IDSA, on the political and governmental challenges faced by the new Pakistani regime. Dr. Behuria addressed issues such as the Centre-State relations, Baloch insurgency, opposition parties, governments in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and relations with judiciary and media. The last presentation of the session was given by Mr Ajit Doval, KC, former Director Intelligence Bureau and Director of the VIF, assessing impacts on the internal security of the country. Containing and engaging radical Islamists, law and order situation and border management were among the many security threats which Mr Doval succinctly elaborated.

The second session of the seminar focussed on the prospects for India-Pakistan relations and was chaired by Amb Satish Chandra, former Deputy National Security Advisor and Dean, Centre for National Security and Strategic Studies. The first presentation of the session was made by Amb G Parthasarthy, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, who assessed Nawaz Sharif’s past track record and delineated his possible approach towards India in future. A presentation given by Amb Vivek Katju, former Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, focussed on bilateral conflicts and disputes, suggesting the strategy for resolution and engagement. The final presentation for the session was made by Mr Jayadev Ranade, former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, who analysed the impact of the new Government in Pakistan’s equation with the US and China and its likely impact on India.

The third session on day two of the seminar was chaired by Gen (retd) N C Vij, former Chief of Army Staff and Dean, Centre for Defence Studies, VIF. The subject of the session was Security and Defence. The first presentation was given by Brig (Retd) Gurmeet Kanwal, Strategic Analyst and Visiting Fellow, VIF, who assessed various aspects of the Pakistan army, including its role in the new political dispensation, capability and willingness to contain internal terrorism, approach towards neighbours, and its linkages, along with that of the ISI, with various terror groups within and outside Pakistan. Major Gen (Retd) Dhruv Katoch followed by his assessment of Pakistan’s defence preparedness, focussing on its nuclear programme, its defence relations with China, with special focus on PoK, Gwadar port and maritime cooperation. The final presentation of the third session was made by Lt. Gen (Retd) Ravi Sawhney, former Director General of Military Intelligence and Distinguished Fellow, VIF, who analysed the history of Afghanistan-Pakistan relations and the new Pakistan Government’s likely approach in Afghanistan post-2014.

The seminar concluded with a presentation by Amb Kanwal Sibal, former Indian Foreign Secretary and Dean, Centre for International Relations and Diplomacy, VIF, on India’s options in dealing with Pakistan and a brief and highly focussed discussion.

Earlier, the participants observed silence for a minute to pay homage to India’s leading strategic thinker Air Commodore (Retd) Jasjit Singh, who passed away recently.

Event Date 
August 5, 2013
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