Published Date: Dec 8, 2016
Afrasiab for strategic planning to tackle terrorism, extremism
Central leader of Awami National Party (ANP), Afrasiab Khattak on Wednesday while stressing the need for strategic planning to weed out terrorism and extremism from the society has said Pakistan is a security state where extremism is still flourishing due to wrong policies of the state.
He was speaking at a session on "Challenges of Conflict and Services Delivery in South Asia" on the second day of 19th Sustainable Development Conference organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute. The ANP leader said Pakistan is under severe debt burden, which is growing with each passing day, adding that state policies need to be corrected, as in the presence of current Afghan policy, peace cannot prevail in the region.
Afrasiab Khattak said ruling elite does not allow the establishment of local government system, as it doesn’t suit them. He called for devising a local government mechanism to implement it in letter and spirit. Khattak said the state system has limitations and social priorities are floating. Being part of pre-budget consultation, he said, he found nothing concrete about social sector. He also talked about extremism in KP.
Speaking on the topic, SDPI research fellow Dr Shahryar Khan Toru said public goods are the goods funded or provided directly by the state. Highlighting the reasons for poor human development indicators, he talked about political dimensions of public services as the logic behind excludability, information deficiency, and visibility.
At a session on ‘Regional Economic Integration in South Asia and Central Asia,’ former president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Majid Aziz said it’s time to rethink over Pakistan’s position with SAARC. He said Pakistan should realise the importance of looking forward to co-operation with countries other than China such as Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, India, etc.
Haroon Sharif, the World Bank Regional Advisor said that due to massive global political shifts like Brexit and Trump effect, trade patterns are changing. People need to think differently, promote leadership roles in the region and rise above the traditional narratives, he added. Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal emphasised on the importance of regional connectivity, especially from Afghanistan’s perspectives, and how it will open up Central Asia for Pakistan and South Asian countries.
Former Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen said, "Instead of rethinking our position with SAARC and other co-operation agreements, we need to strengthen the already existing institutions and agreements." She was of the view that trade and transit should be improved first and further enhanced with India as well.
Chief Economist of Asian Development Bank Guntur Sugiyatro said the CPEC is a game changer for Pakistan but there are problems which hinder growth and co-operation identified as energy crisis, low investment, weak infrastructure, low tax returns (less than 10% of the GDP) and a lack of experts and professionals in the relevant sectors.
Speaking at a session on ‘Markets, Value Chains and Social Networks,’ SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayum Suleri said that there should be regulation on the price charging of fruit and vegetable markets in Swat. He stressed the need for institutionalising the middle man. He said that the role of women was invisible in fruit and vegetable markets of Swat during the period of conflict and floods.