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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Business Recorder

Published Date: Jun 30, 2018

Pak-Afghan-US Relations

Advice on relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan and between Pakistan and the US has arrived from three different sources at the same time, with remarkable convergence as to the conclusions. First, a Pak-Afghan Track-II initiative called the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Committee (PAJC), Beyond Boundaries, met in Kabul on June 25, 2018, having previously had two rounds, one in Kabul on December 15, 2017 and one in Islamabad on February 26, 2018. PAJC welcomed the commitment by Pakistan and Afghanistan to end their mutual blame game and advised both sides to restrain their spokespersons from knee-jerk reactions to events. PAJC found the recent Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) promising and capable of providing the basis for a rapprochement between the two countries. PAJC asked both governments to sign a bilateral consular agreement, work on a dignified, reasonable plan for Afghan refugees’ repatriation, hold meetings to improve trade, both, transit and bilateral, address negative perceptions of the other, hold media exchanges and highlight progress under APAPPS. On the other hand, a Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) seminar in Islamabad on the same day advised Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US to bridge their trust deficit in order to bring peace to Afghanistan, a desirable goal no one country could accomplish on its own. The seminar posited a region-led, region-owned peace process, which appeared one-step ahead of Pakistan’s formulation of an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation effort. The seminar, while recognising Pakistan’s crucial role in this process, emphasized a sustained western engagement in Afghanistan. Other participants argued Pakistan should be engaged constructively while being treated as a sovereign state. Peace and stability in Pakistan, it was pointed out, was dependent on peace and stability in Afghanistan. The seminar concluded its deliberations by arguing for economic interdependence between Pakistan and Afghanistan, in which mega projects like the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and the Central Asia-South Asia electricity project were important. The SDPI seminar also called for trade enhancement and facilitation between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The third contribution to the debate comes from an Institute for Policy Reforms (IPR) report that argues that despite their differences and recent tensions over Afghanistan, the Pak-US relationship cannot end. Both sides need to understand each other’s perceptions and interests. The report says both Pakistan and the US want peace in Afghanistan but differ on methods and goals. Concerned about Indian influence, Pakistan wants a ‘friendly’ government in Kabul while the US favoured a military solution over reconciliation (though the latter may be changing now). IPR advises Pakistan to stay engaged with the US, regain trust without necessarily yielding to all its demands, state clearly what is possible, what is not, without waiting for US pressure to respond. Pakistan should offer sincere cooperation but make it equally contingent on US accommodation of Pakistan’s security concerns. The US on the other hand must help stop cross-border Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacks. While Pakistan cannot control all Afghan Taliban acts, it should pledge to restrain them from our borders while nudging them towards reconciliation. The report points out that an Afghan Taliban government in Kabul is not acceptable to most Afghans, the US, China and Russia. Pakistan must help negotiations with the Afghan Taliban while extracting assurances from Kabul of effective border controls and degrading the TTP. The report notes that the recent killing of Mullah Fazlullah, the chief of the TTP, was viewed positively by Pakistan.
All three sources argue for cooperation based on trust between the stakeholders in the Afghan conflict. While the logic of thus paving the road to peace and reconciliation is unassailable, the fly in the ointment remains the intransigence of the Afghan Taliban. On the same day as these sources produced their remarkably congruent advice, the Afghan Taliban refused to respond to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s extension by another 10 days of the (imperfect) ceasefire over Eid by extending their own ceasefire. On the contrary, they painted the ceasefire initiative as an attempt to persuade them to lay down their arms and accept the regime in Kabul imposed by the US-led west. This shows that however much the three sources speak eminent sense, the road to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan remains a long and bumpy one.