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The News

Published Date: Dec 13, 2012

REGIONAL COOPERATION ?KEY TO COPE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS?

Cooperation is the only way to cope with environmental disasters in the subcontinent as we saw no result of non-cooperation and confrontation during more than six decades, said Karamat Ali, executive director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER).

He was addressing the 15th Annual Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) on ‘Sustainable Development in South Asia: Shaping the Future’ organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

Speaking on traditional security threats, Karamat said that if we want to deliver to the people of this unfortunate region, we will have to cooperate to move towards honest, sincere cooperation, especially in managing natural resources in sharing and not adversarial mode. He regretted that undermining of Saarc was done by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where forces in each country are out to maintain conflict.

He exhorted to move quickly away from a situation in which one dominant ethnic group and one dominating religion in all the three countries and Sri Lanka is impeding democratisation. He called for secularising South Asian societies to end the conception of minorities. He said that a tiny elite of 5 to 10 per cent is controlling everything resulting in militarisation and making the region biggest importer of arms in the world despite two having nuclear bombs.

Tahir Dhindsa of SDPI said that international beneficiary systems are directly integrated with the petroleum resources and sovereignty of the states.

Khurram Javed from Diplomatic Academy, Azerbaijan, stressed on implementation of IPI, TAPI and Trans-Caspian projects for initiating development in the region.

Dr. Saba Gul Khattak, Member BoG, SDPI, said that at the heart of the conflict lies in the difference of logic in politics and science and it needs to work out at earliest.

Khurram Dastgir Khan, PML-N MNA, said that trade between India and Pakistan presents immense gains for consumers and could be used as a catalyst for solving other issues such as political disputes.

Dr Pervez Tahir, former chief economist, said that Pakistan and India are two very different economies, and this fact needs to be realised before formulating trade policies between the two countries.

Dr Yumei Zhang from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences observed that in last 30 years, infrastructures in China significantly improved contributing to the fastest economic growth rate of 10%.

Mochan Bhattarai from Nepal said that political instability in Nepal, like many other South Asian countries, is the biggest challenge while undertaking Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Stephen Commins from USA said that violent conflicts disrupt livelihood and markets, which makes the people vulnerable to hunger and malnourishment. Governments and the donor need to focus on restoring markets, establishment of infrastructure, and revival of supply chain and market mechanism, he said.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Anam Khan, Saad Rajput and Muhammad Adnan, Qasim Shah from SDPI, Ali Khizar, Dr Babar Shahbaz, Dr Nadia Tahir, Naveed Iftikhar and Geoff Woods of Bath University, UK, also spoke on the occasion.