Islamabad, 27 December: The President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.) paid a rich tribute to Benazir Bhutto Shaheed on the seventh anniversary of her death. She said, “Benazir Bhutto was a person of extraordinary grace and courage who did not bow down to any challenge and spent her entire life working for democracy and extricating the downtrodden from poverty and degradation, in Pakistan.”

She said 27th December is one of the saddest days in the history of Pakistan but we must carry on Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s mission forward. Senator Sehar Kamran said, “The sacrifices and services offered by Benazir Bhutto Shaheed will be written in golden words in history. She will continue to live in the hearts of the Pakistani people forever.”

Today we will continue to fight against terrorism and for the values Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed upheld and laid down her life for, she added. She further said Benazir Bhutto was one visionary leader who saw the menace of terrorism beforehand and were among the first to raise her voice against these terrorists in Pakistan and later paid for it with her life.

Islamabad, December 25: President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.) in her message for Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s 138th birthday said, today the people of Pakistan are celebrating their beloved leader and founder’s birthday with great zeal and vigour. She said, “Pakistan is going through testing times but we as a nation must show courage in the face of turmoil by following Quaid-e-Azam’s motto of unity, faith and discipline.”

Senator Kamran said we as a nation must commemorate Mohammad Ali Jinnah by carrying forward the vision and mission of our great leader with dedication. “In the honour of our founder, we must ensure a strong a strong and prosperous Pakistan by sheer hard work and devotion to our beloved country”, she added.

Islamabad, December 17: President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I) strongly condemned the cowardly terrorist attack which took the lives of innocent people, mostly children, in Peshawar. She deemed this horrendous attack as a national tragedy and said the whole nation stands united against terrorism.

Senator Kamran said, “My heart bleeds for the families who lost their children and loved ones”. She said such cowardly acts will not deter the people of Pakistan. We as people must remain vigilant from such heinous elements hiding within our societies, she added.

Senator Sehar Kamran further said, “Let us rise above political, sectarian and religious differences for our children, their future and a peaceful Pakistan”.

bahrainIslamabad, December 15, 2014: A roundtable discussion on “Pakistan-Bahrain relations: challenges and opportunities” was held at the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) here today. This was the tenth in the series of Pakistan’s foreign policy review project that the CPGS is conducting.

The discussion was chaired by Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.), the President, CPGS; and the keynote speakers were Mr. Jauhar Saleem, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs who has earlier also served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Bahrain and Dr. Nazir Hussain, Associate Professor, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

The event was largely attended by academia, practitioners, journalists and university students. The speakers highlighted the bilateral cooperation and the role of the Pakistani Diaspora who are not only contributing in various professional fields but also a great source of remittances.

At the outset Senator Sehar Kamran remarked that Pakistan highly values its bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Bahrain. She however, observed that there is a dire need to explore more avenues of cooperation to work together for mutual benefits and socio economic progress of the two sides.

The recent visit of Bahrain King and MOU’s signed among both the countries were highly appreciated by the participants. However, it was recommended that Pakistan’s friendly relations with Bahrain do not commensurate with economic relations. Therefore, Pakistan should focus more on harbouring economic relations with Bahrain. The people to people contact, academic expertise/ educational exchange programme and mutual trade should be enhanced.

forwebIslamabad, November 19, 2014: A roundtable discussion on “Pakistan-UAE relations: challenges and prospects,” was held at the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) here today. It was chaired by Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.), the President, CPGS, and was well attended by prominent foreign policy experts, academics, practitioners, journalists, CPGS team and university students.

The keynote speakers of the roundtable were Lt. Gen. (R.) Asif Yasin Malik H.I.(M), Former Defence Secretary and Ambassador (R.) Javed Hafiz.

The discussion revolved around five basic questions. They were:  What are the areas of opportunities and cooperation for the improvement of relations between the two countries; the role and importance of Pakistani Diaspora in UAE; what is the future vision of Pakistan-UAE relations; we have discussed what UAE do for Pakistan, but what can Pakistan offer to UAE; how important is cooperation between the two sides on the evolving situation in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and India?

The participants of the roundtable gave, among others, the recommendations that, in order to improve Pakistan-UAE relations, the bilateral ties should be institutionalized rather than being conducted personally by the top leadership of both sides; given the changed nature of UAE job market, skilled persons from Pakistan should go for work to the UAE; and, in view of the proximity between the two countries, a high priority should be given to the export of perishable food items like fruits and vegetables to the UAE.

By Senator Sehar Kamran (TI)

October 29, 2014

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With the 67th anniversary just passed of when India in gross violation of law and human rights, landed its forces in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, we remember once more. Every year, since that day in 1947, the day is observed as Black Day on both sides of the Line of Control and all over the world by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.India committed a flagrant violation of law and announced the accession of Kashmir which to date remains controversial and a burning dispute between Pakistan and India. In view of Kashmir’s history, geography, cultural and religious affiliations, Kashmir had a natural tendency to accede to Pakistan but owing to the nexus of the Maharaja of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh and the head of Boundary Commission, Cyril Radcliff, India was able to commit an act which in years to come would be known as the tale of perhaps one of the greatest unresolved human tragedies.When India illegally acceded the Kashmir valley, the brave and resilient people of Kashmir stood up against Indian aggression. The people of Pakistan supported their Kashmiri brethren and as a result of this support, Pakistan and India went to war in 1947. During the war, it was India who first took the Kashmir dispute to the United Nations on January 1, 1948.The UN, in the following year on January 1, 1949, helped enforce a ceasefire between the two countries. By the mutual consent of Pakistan and India, the UN Security Council and UN Commission for India and Pakistan passed several resolutions in the years following the 1947-48 war.The UNSC Resolution of 21 April, 1948- one of the principal UN resolutions on Kashmir- stated that “both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.” Subsequent UNSC Resolutions reiterated the same stand. UNCIP Resolutions of 3 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 reinforced previous UNSC resolutions.Even though it was India who took the Kashmir dispute to the UN, it has consistently disregarded UN resolutions and continues to commit blatant violations of human rights in the valley.Unlike India, Pakistan has always been clear in its stance to completely abide by UN resolutions which call for the right of Kashmiri self-determination. All governments in Pakistan have given their unconditional support to the people of Kashmir and their liberation.Indian state terrorism which has unceremoniously continued since 1989, when the unarmed people of Kashmir stood up against 700,000 armed Indian forces, has made life in the valley difficult. Indian forces in the region are protected by draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Disturbed Areas Act which have broken all records of human rights violations in the occupied territory of Kashmir.The leadership of Pakistan Peoples’ party following their Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s footsteps, has always given its unconditional support to the cause of Kashmir over the years. Benazir Bhutto, on numerous occasions declared her support for the self-determination of the Kashmiri people according to their wishes and desires. She raised the dispute of Kashmir on many international forums and called on the international community for its resolution.Carrying on in his grandfather, mother and fathers’ footsteps, the Chairman of Pakistan Peoples’ Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently reiterated his commitment to the dispute of Kashmir by stating that his party would take back all of Kashmir from India because, like the other provinces, it belongs to Pakistan.The atrocities by Indian forces have not lessened in recent times. The people of Kashmir are not allowed to freely carry out daily activities without the express permission of Indian forces. This year on Eid-ul-adha, a curfew was imposed in Indian occupied Kashmir.The purpose of celebrating 27th October every year as Black Day, is to inform the world that Kashmiris will never bow down to Indian oppression and aggression. It also reinforces that the people of Kashmir, and Pakistan, will not stop at anything short of liberation.The writer is President, Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies.

Same version of the article appeared in The Nation

Islamabad, October 27: On the occasion of the Kashmir Black Day, the President, Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.) said we must not forget the valiant struggle of our Kashmiri brethren against the Indian oppression. She asked the international community to take notice of Indian atrocities that have been committing in Kashmir for the last 67 years.

Senator Kamran said, “The world must accept and grant the people of Kashmir the right to self-determination and the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir must be resolved according to their wishes and aspirations, in light of the United Nations resolutions.”

Senator Sehar Kamran further said that the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) is firmly committed to the cause of Kashmir as was recently stated by the Chairman PPP, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. She said we will continue the struggle of Kashmir until the dispute is resolved peacefully.

Islamabad, October 23: The President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.) paid a glowing tribute to Maadar-e-Jamhooriat Begum Nusrat Bhutto on the third anniversary on her death. She said Begum Nusrat Bhutto put up a valiant struggle against the tyrant military dictator and braved state torture and jails during the struggle for restoration of democracy in Pakistan.

Shesaid, “Begum Nusrat Bhutto was committed to the cause of democracy, determined to work for and ensure women empowerment and had a very soft corner for downtrodden people in general and the poor party workers in particular.”

Senator Sehar Kamran further said the sacrifices and services rendered by Begum Nusrat Bhutto for the sake of democracy in the country should not be forgotten.

Untitled-1Islamabad, October 21, 2014: An in-house discussion on the “Economic revival of Sindh – Vision 2020,” was held at the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS), today. It was chaired by Leader of the opposition, Mr. Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah. It was well attended by prominent academics, practitioners, journalists, CPGS team and university students.

The discussion revolved around economic challenges and hindrances faced by Pakistan especially  in Sindh province where the economic revival of the country is concerned. The President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I) expressed her gratitude to Mr. Khurshid Shah for an in-depth and candid discussion. She said emphasis on peaceful energy program is the need of time.

The participants of the discussion commended Mr. Khurshid Shah’s valuable contribution and said that Pakistan should focus more on its agriculture as the economy of the country is an agrarian one. As the biggest challenge faced by Pakistan is the shortage of water, emphasis must be laid to counter the future water issues. Irrigation water must be properly channelised. Pakistan should focus on initiating hydel and water saving projects. Mr. Khurshid Shah said the educational and agricultural programs should be given priority on television channels and the government should make sure these channels telecast such informative programs. Pakistan must focus on its research program.

The talk was followed by a lively question and answer session.

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Islamabad, October 17, 2014: A roundtable discussion on “Deterrence Stability in South Asia: A U.S. Perspective,” was held at the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS), today. It was chaired by Lt. General (R) Syed M. Owais and was well attended by prominent defence experts, academics, practitioners, journalists, CPGS team and university students.

The keynote speaker of the roundtable was Dr. Peter R. Lavoy, Former U.S. Acting Assistance Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. The discussion revolved around Pakistan and India’s military asymmetry in South Asia, U.S.’s engagement in South Asia post 2014 and the Indian threat which Pakistan is facing today in the form of ongoing border skirmishes as a tougher and hawkish Modi regime sits in India.

It was recommended by the participants that Pakistan should more confidently present its own point of view and counter the misperceptions made by the people in West more effectively. Pakistan and the U.S.’s interests are interlinked but Pakistan cannot ignore its own defense compulsions.

The talk was followed by a lively question/answer session.

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