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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Dec 14, 2012

PRACTICAL STEPS URGED TO REDUCE REGIONAL CONFLICTS

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira stated this on Thursday while speaking at the concluding session of the conference on “Sustainable Development in South Asia: Shaping the Future.”

“Together India and Pakistan can ensure successful implementation of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s Charter as well,” he added.

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeemul Haq said that real problems for growth and development are not resources but public sector management, lack of efficient markets, non-uniform growth and non-development of social and human capital.

Earlier, at a special plenary, chaired by Dr Ishrat Husain, former governor State Bank and Dean Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, said that growth is strongly conflated with agricultural output and employment shares in developing Asia. Husain was of the view that the vicious circle of economic disparity could only be broken if there was good governance. “If Pakistan grows between six to seven per cent annually it can create enough jobs to absorb new entrants in the labour force,” he said.

Central University of Sikkim Vice Chancellor Dr Mahendra Lama said that interdependence in South Asia is very critical as nations cannot treat and address economic and ecological challenges alone. “The challenge is to generate a critical mass of younger generation in the region who can converse on developmental issues at the national and global level,” he said.University of Utah Professor Dr Tariq Banuri deplored the marginalisation of sustainable development in the decision and policy-making process in the region.

During the session on ‘Anatomy, impact, challenges and resolution of conflicts’, the panellists highlighted institutional failures and the elitist top-down approach that have resulted in violence in the country and also impeded service delivery.

The session on “Religious Freedoms: South Asian perspective” concluded with the demand for repealing discriminatory legislation against minorities and fostering inter-community dialogue to pursue religious harmony in the country.

Over 145 speakers from 19 countries attended the conference, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).