background image

Early Child Marriage and Denial of Girls Education

According to UNICEF, 21 percent

of girls in Pakistani are married

before they reach the age of 18,

while 3 percent are married

before the age of 15

Under the UN Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs),

Pakistan has pledged to bring an

end  to  the practice of  marriage

before age 18 by 2030.

Child  marriage  as  a  practice  is  motivated  by  gender  disparity  and  the

traditional obsolete belief that girls are inferior to boys. In Pakistan also, child

marriage is driven by

21% < 18 years
3% < 15 years

2030

Swara  

Watta Satta 

Pait Likkhi

In Swara, girls are married off in

order to resolve feuds in rural

communities under compulsion

of a local council otherwise

known as “panchayat”

Watta Satta is the

bartering for brides

Pait Likkhi is the

betrothing of girls

before they are

born or very young

cpgs.org

cpgs_org

Gender norms are deeply rooted

patriarchal customs of old Times

that  continue  to  drive  child

marriage. For instance girls who

marry late are labelled as

bringing shame for “deviating”

from tradition.

Approximately 22.5 million

children in Pakistan are out of

school. Out of this, 53 percent

are girls.

Nearly

13 million 

girls

are out of school in Pakistan

<

Family  practices: Within family

(or tribe) marriages are a

common in Pakistan. Due to

which about 34% of married

16-17 year old girls, are known

to be to first cousins.

34%

Cousin Marriages

…..!

…..!

…..!

…..!

…..!

…..!

 Denial of Girls Education

22.5

million uneducated
children

53% 

girls!

SCHOOL

About 21 percent of girls in

Pakistan  get  married  after

finishing  secondary  school,  and

by 9th grade only 13 percent

girls are still in school.

A report last year from the

seven new districts (former

Fata) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

portrayed alarming picture of

girls’ education in KP. About 79

percent of girls drop out from

school in the early years, and 50

percent drop out in the middle

and secondary years.

•  Article 25-A of the Constitution of

Islamic Republic of Pakistan clearly

states that; “The State shall provide

free  and  compulsory  education  to  all

children  of  the  age  of  five  to  sixteen

years in such manner as may be

determined by law.”
• Pakistan’s expenditure on

education as percentage to GDP stands

at  2.4  percent  in  fiscal  year  2018-19,

the lowest in the region. Pakistan has to

spend more on education on the levels

recommended by the UNESCO in order

to fulfill the commitment of SDG4

Remedies 

21%

after secondary school

21%

after secondary school

79%

girls drop out from school

The State

shall provide

free and

compulsory education

to all children

 of the age of five

 to sixteen years y

 in such manner

 as may be

determined by law

Ph: +92 (51) 8445070  Fax +92(51) 2823424     email: info@cpakgulf.org

web: www.cpakgulf.org

Research by:  Siffat Ali – Research Associate

Designed by:  Fatima Sureyya – Web/Graphic Designer

President CPGS, Senator Sehar Kamran’s (TI)
Monthly Engagements and Activities
June 2019
Articles
Press Statements
ARTICLES
National Action Plan: bigger responsibilities lie ahead
By Senator Sehar Kamran. 3rd June 2019
The Nation
Iran is the OIC’s most dominant agenda
By Senator Sehar Kamran. 3rd June 2019
Arab News
PRESS STATEMENTS
Senator Sehar Kamran (TI) Pays a Glowing Tribute to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir
Bhutto
Sehar Kamran. 20th June 2019
Pakistani politicians, analysts appreciate Saudi Crown Prince’s stance on regional
peace
Arab News. 17th June 2019
Russian day celebrated Russia, Pakistan bound by strong ties of friendship,
cooperation, mutual understanding
Pakistan Observer. 14th June 2019
ooperation-mutual-understanding/
Senator Sehar Kamran strongly condemn attack at Abha airport
Sehar Kamran. 12th June 2019
Senator Sehar Kamran Felicitates the entire Nation on Eid ul Fitr
Sehar Kamran. 4thth June 2019
Participation in
Seminars, Conferences & Events
Attended the celebrations of
Swiss National Day and over
50 years of Swiss International
Cooperation in Pakistan
26-06-2019
Dinner hosted by Ambasssdor of
Nepal H.E. Ms Sewa Lamsal in
honour of outgoing Ambassdor of
Netherlands HE Ms Ardi Braken
16-06-2019
On the Occasion of Africa Day
19-06-2019
At Zardari House, during the press
conference held by Chairman PPP
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
14-06-2019
President CPGS Senator
SeharKamran & Vice Admiral (R)
Khawar Ali Shah, Director General,
NIMA along with the CPGS &NIMA
team at MOU signing ceremony.
13-06-2019
Attended the Day of Russia
Charge D Affaires of the Russian
Federation celebrations at
Marriott Hotel
12-06-2019
Media
A p p e a r e n c e s
G For Gharida – 28th June 2018 – Aaj News
7 Se 8 Kiran Naz – 27 June 2019 – SAMAA TV
Live with Aniqa – 26th June 2019 – Capital TV
Faisla Aap Ka With Tariq Chaudhry – 25 June 2019 – Aaj News
Seedhi Baat Beenish Saleem Kay Sath – 24 June 2019 – Neo News
Khara Sach With Mubashir Lucman – 21 June 2019 – 24 News
News Talk with Yashfeen Jamal – 21 June 2019 – Neo News
7 Se 8 – Kiran Naz – 20 June 2019
NewsEye – 18 June 2019 – Dawn News
Kal Tak With Javed Chaudhary – 18 June 2019 – Express News
News Beat – Paras Jahanzeb – 15 June 2019 – Samaa TV
G for Gharida – 14 june 2019 – Aaj News
Seedhi Baat Beenish Saleem Kay Sath – 13 June 2019 – Neo News
Live with Nadia Mirza – 13-June-2019 – News One
Q&A with PJ Mir – 12 June 2019 – AAPNews
Face to Face with Ayesha Bakhsh – 08 June 2019 – GNN News
To The Point With Mansoor Ali Khan – 1 June 2019 – Express News
CONTACT US
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 Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies and National Institute of Maritime Affairs sign a Memorandum of Understanding at Bahria University, Islamabad on 13th June 2019. The memorandum was signed by Vice Admiral (R) Syed Khawar Ali Shah HI (M) on behalf of NIMA and Ambassador Shaukat Ali Mukadam member advisory board. The signing ceremony was graced by Senator Sehar Kamran (TI) President of CPGS. Both the think tanks, realizing the need of in depth research on the potential of oceans in the global geo-strategic and economic dynamics and to face the challenges arising from the power kinetics in the oceans, have decided to share their intellectual endeavors. The MoU is a timely step in the right direction for realization of responsibility on part of the both institutions to enhance strategic awareness as well as render policy recommendations to the concerned quarters on matters of national concern.

President CPGS, Senator Sehar Kamran’s (TI)
Monthly Engagements and Activities
May 2019
Articles
Press Statements
ARTICLES
India’s Space Jingoism
By Senator Sehar Kamran. 15th May 2019
Hilal English
Unbridled population: A ticking challenge
By Senator Sehar Kamran. 3rd May 2019
The Nation
PRESS STATEMENTS
Senator Sehar Kamran Felicitates the entire Nation on Youm e Takbeer
Sehar Kamran. 28th May 2019
Pakistan pins high hopes on OIC summit
Arab News. 27th May 2019
Missile attack on Makkah condemned
Pakistan Observer. 23rd May 2019
Senator Condemns Missile Attack On Makkah
Urdu Point. 22nd May 2019
Senator Sehar Kamran, President, Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS)
strongly condemns the ballistic missile attack on sacred holy sites in Makkah.
Sehar Kamran. 22nd May 2019
ssile-attack-sacred-holy-sites-makkah/
Over 2.7 million Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia to benefit from new green card
Arab News. 14th May 2019
Pakistani leaders call attack on Saudi oil facilities attack on Pakistan
Arab News. 14th May 2019
Senator Sehar Kamran, President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS)
praised the tireless efforts and services of the labour community on ‘World
Labour Day’
Sehar Kamran. 1st May 2019
INTERVIEW
Daily Khabrain. 7th May 2019
Participation in
Seminars, Conferences & Events
Dignitaries, diplomats and
prominent social figures
attended iftar dinner hosted
by Arab News Pakistan in
Islamabad
29-05-2019
Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto
Zardari visited Senator Sehar
Kamran’s Residense to offer
condolence of her late father.
23-05-2019
Attended the funeral of PPP
leader Qaira’s Son.
19-05-2019
Attended iftar dinner hosted by
Mushahid Hussain.
12-05-2019
Attended iftar dinner hosted by
Nafisa Shah MNA (PPP).
11-05-2019
Attended the reception on 43rd
anniversary of the unification of
UAE Armed Forces, in presence
of the Ambassador H.E. Hamad
Alzaabi
02-05-2019
Media
A p p e a r e n c e s
Khara Sach With Mubashir Lucman (30 May 2019) 24 News
Program Newsline with Dr. Maria Zulfiqar, (28 May 2019) Hum News
Seedhi Baat Beenish Saleem Kay Sath (27 May 2019) Neo News
News Eye With Mehar Bokhari (27 May 2019) Dawn News
To The Point With Mansoor Ali Khan (11 May 2019) Express News
Riyasat Aur Awam with Farah Sadia (10 May 2019) Public News
Khara Sach With Mubashir Lucman (10 May 2019) 24 News
Pas e Parda (09-May-2019)
Benaqaab (6 May 2019) AbbTak News
Aaj Rana Mubashir Kay Sath (3 May 2019) Aaj News
7 Se 8 | (1 May 2019) SAMAA TV
CONTACT US
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051-2816107
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US-IRAN ESCALATING MILITARY TENSION:
MIDDLE EAST AT STRATEGIC CROSSROADS

US-IRAN ESCALATING MILITARY TENSION: MIDDLE EAST AT STRATEGIC CROSSROADS

Geopolitical and strategic dynamics of broader Middle East are undergoing seismic changes due to escalating tension between the United States and Iran, after unilateral American withdrawal from the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries. The situation further aggravated with subsequent re-imposition of the US sanctions on Iran earlier lifted as a result of Iranian compliance of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), also known as the P5+1 Agreement. The recent escalation started when last month, the Trump administration cancelled the US waivers allowing eight countries – China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey to continue buying oil from Iran. Moreover, the US designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization, and threatened others to stop ‘doing business’ with Iran as this would be considered as ‘bankrolling terrorism.’ In a tit for tat response, Iran declared American military’s Central Command (Centcom) as a terrorist organization and the US government as sponsor of terror. The defiant reciprocal moves by Iran have vitiated the already precarious security environment of the region.

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RESURGENCE OF ISLAMIC STATE: IMPLICATIONS FOR REGIONAL AND GLOBAL STABILITY

RESURGENCE OF ISLAMIC STATE: IMPLICATIONS FOR REGIONAL AND GLOBAL STABILITY

In October 2017, the people of Raqqa were finally freed from the heinous rule of the Islamic State (IS) by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) comprising Kurdish and Arab fighters after suffering in absolute hell under the tyranny of IS for about four years. The defeat of Islamic State’s territorial caliphate in Syria had compelled foreign fighters to flee and return to their native countries.

Many security analysts are of the view that though IS has suffered a ‘physical defeat’ but its ideology still holds the power to inspire extremist recruits and it will continue to attract the ideologically motivated Jihadis around the world. The IS appears to have transformed itself from ‘state to a fluid organization’ capable of offering umbrella to different local, regional and international militant organisations to use its name and new method i.e. ‘Do-It-Yourself terrorism’. The recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia and Sri Lanka are the prime examples of this new modus operandi adopted by the IS and their local affiliates.

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President CPGS, Senator Sehar Kamran’s (TI)
Monthly Engagements and Activities
April 2019
Articles
Press Statements
ARTICLES
India’s ASAT test: A false sense of prestige
By Senator Sehar Kamran. 17th April 2019
PAKISTAN TODAY
India’s ASAT test: A false sense of prestige
By Senator Sehar Kamran. 16th April 2019
DAILY TIMES
A regional stabilizer: Shanghai Cooperation Organization
By Senator Sehar Kamran. 8th April 2019
ARAB NEWS
PRESS STATEMENTS
Senator Sehar Kamran praises tireless services of labour community
Urdu Point. 30th April 2019
Role of labour community in national development laudable: Sehar Kamran
Urdu Point. 30th April 2019
Bill against marriage under 18 sails through Senate
The News. 30th April 2019
Senator Sehar Kamran strongly condemned the Colombo terror attack
Senator Sehar Kamran. 20th April 2019
Senator Sehar Kamran condemned the brutal killing of 14 passengers in Makran
Senator Sehar Kamran. 19th April 2019
Sehar Kamran condemns killing of 14 passengers in Makran
Urdu Point. 18th April 2019
Senator Sehar Kamran statment on Plight of Women in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir
Urdu Point. 8th April 2019
Participation in
Seminars, Conferences & Events
Participated as a Chief Guest
in a gathering of Kashmir
Youth Forum
27-04-2019
Attended meeting of Senate
Forum for Policy Research
(SFPR)
25-04-2019
Participated in a Seminar “A
World Free of Disability
-Vision 2025” organized by
Strive Trust
20-04-2019
Participated as a Speaker in
Conference on the plight of
women in Indian Occupied
Kashmir.
8-04-2019
Media
A p p e a r e n c e s
To The Point With Mansoor Ali Khan (27 April 2019)
Gar Tu Bura Na Mane with Ramsha Kanwal (24 April 2019)
Khara Sach | Mubashir Lucman (22 April 2019)
Seedhi Baat Beenish Saleem Kay Sath (22 April 2019)
Hum Log with Zeeshan Malik | 21 April 2019
Dialogue with Adnan Haider | Jan Achakzai | Sehar Kamran | Tariq Pirzada (19 April 2019)
PM Imran Khan New Plans To Save Pakistan Economy | News Point (17 April 2019)
Peshawar tabahi se bach gaya | Kiran Naz (16 April 2019)
Gar Tu Bura Na Mane with Ramsha Kanwa (15 April 2019)
Face To Face with Ayesha Bakhsh (12 April 2019)
Riyasat Aur Awam with Farah Sadia (5 April 2019)
To The Point With Mansoor Ali Khan (5 April 2019)
Kal Tak With Javed Chaudhary (4 April 2019)
Live with Nadia Mirza (04-April-2019)
Capital Today (04-April-2019)
CONTACT US
info@cpakgulf.org
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051-2816107
cpgs.org
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w w w . c p a k g u l f. o r g


Senator Sehar Kamran

 Outer space is ‘global commons’ and ‘common heritage’ for all mankind. It has a tremendous amount of significance for socioeconomic development. According to the Bank of America, the current space market is valued at roughly $350 billion and will continue to grow to reach roughly $2.7 trillion within the next three decades. Countries and commercial entities are investing in telecommunication, earth observation, and orbital manufacturing and private habitat and it will further develop and increase the share of space economy in the future. Apart from civilian and peaceful use of space, high tech advanced countries are using the space for military purposes, and hence their defensive and offensive military activities have the spectre of the arms race in the outer space. That in turn, will further increase the potentially ruinous consequences by creating the space debris and risking the relative stability in the outer space.

The issue of prevention of arms race in the outer space (PAROS) has been on the agenda item of the Conference of Disarmament (CD) but up till now, no substantive outcome or legally binding guidelines have emerged.

On 27 March 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in a national address that India carried out maiden anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test for the first time. According to India’s DRDO press statement, the ‘Mission Shakti’ took three minutes to destroy the intended target i.e. satellite at an altitude of 300 km, in low earth orbit (LEO). With this test, India joined the league of three nations namely USA, Russia and China, who already demonstrated that capability in the past.

India’s ASAT test once again highlighted the ineffectiveness of international regimes governing the activities of outer space and failure to formulate the binding rules to regulate countries space endeavours. Moreover, the absence of ‘no rules’ opens a window for states to exploit these legal loopholes for their geopolitical and geostrategic considerations while threatening the global prosperity on one hand and setting of a precedent for other states to follow suit. Unchecked ‘weaponization of outer space’ and ‘prestige’ led space arms race has the potential to trigger lethal ‘cascading effects’ for international peace and stability.

“Unchecked ‘weaponization of outer space’ and ‘prestige’ led space arms race has the potential to trigger lethal ‘cascading effects’ for international peace and stability.”

Pakistan condemned the Indian ASAT test and according to Foreign Office press statement “Pakistan remains a strong proponent of non-militarization of outer space.” Furthermore, it stated that it’s a “matter of grave concern for the international community not only in terms of generation of space debris but also because of its ramifications for long term sustainability of peaceful space activities. And if these moves were unchecked, it could pose serious consequences for “global and regional peace, stability and security.”

In the context of the current state of play in South Asia, where strategic stability is under tremendous pressure due to Modi’s irrational and delusional blunders, since 14 February 2019, the threat of ‘nuclear nightmare’ has been looming large on the horizon and currently, there is no hope that the security situation will be diffused till the conclusion of Indian ‘General Elections’ in May 2019. According to Indian domestic political analysts, the primary purpose behind the ‘Balakot Misadventure’ and ‘ASAT test’ was to woo its electorates to win the elections; and for this very purpose, Narendra Modi could go at any length.

The recent statement of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi added further context to that premise. He said “India is planning a new attack on Pakistan… this could take place between April 16 and 20,” and it is the “responsibility of the international community” to shun their silence for the larger stability of the region.

Given post-Balakot domestic and international scrutiny of India’s Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Airforce false narrative regarding the tally of casualties of alleged militants in Balakot and downing of F16 jets, subsequent international reports regarding Indian claims tell different story and for instance, the ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine’s exclusive report on ‘F16 Controversy’ further embarrassed the Indian air force and pushed PM Modi into tight spot. According to Lara Seligman, “two senior U.S. defense officials with direct knowledge of the situation told Foreign Policy that U.S. personnel recently counted Islamabad’s F-16s and found none missing.”

Amidst increasing domestic criticism, Indian Air Vice Marshal R.G.K Kapoor held a press conference and refuted the assertion of FP story. Air Vice Marshal Kapoor stated that India has “irrefutable evidence” that Indian jet downed Pakistani F-16 in a dogfight. Interestingly, in his concluding remarks, he said that IAF cannot provide more information to the public due to “security and confidentiality concerns.” That essentially means that there exists no such information and if it had, India would have made it public to embarrass Pakistan.

In a quid pro quo, DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor while commenting on Indian Air Vice Marshal’s presser said that “repetitions do not make [the] truth a lie” and fact is that PAF shot down two IAF jets, wreckage [has been] seen on the ground by all.” Likewise, MIT Assistant Professor, Vipin Narang said that “it looks worse and worse for the Indians,” and it seems India “failed to impose significant costs on Pakistan, [instead] lost a plane and a helicopter of its own in the process.”

That said, India’s testing of ASAT capability again perceived as an attempt of face-saving by the Modi government on one hand and divert the ‘microscopic’ scrutiny on the other. However, the abrupt response from NASA administration was a setback as it briefly halted working with ISRO after the Indian ASAT test. The NASA administration not only visualizes the test from the strategic stability perspective but also as a threat to the concept of space as global commons.

In the background of these dangerous developments in the region, it appears that Indian government narrative is not finding traction in national and international level. Also, it remains to be seen how testing an ASAT capability would elevate the socioeconomic status of a country whose seventy-five percent of population is living under the abject poverty, 200 million people don’t have sufficient access to food and 25 percent children do not have access to education.

Senator Sehar Kamran is the President of Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) and member of the Senate Forum for Policy Research (SFPR). She has also served as a member Senate of Pakistan for the term 2012-2018)

Same version of this article is posted on DailyTimes

Same version of this article is posted on Pakistan Today

President CPGS, Senator Sehar Kamran’s (TI)
Monthly Engagements and Activities
March 2019
Articles
Press Statements
ARTICLES
Drowning Strategic Stability in the Indian Ocean Region
By Senator Sehar Kamran. 17th March 2019
PAK INDIA CRISIS – Pre-election or Pre-emption?
By Senator Sehar Kamran, on 12th March 2019
INTERVIEW
MOTHERS, PEACEKEEPERS, PROFESSIONALS, AND LEADERS
Eurasian Women Forum (EAWF)
Senator Sehar Kamran about modern women, 29th March 2019
PRESS STATEMENTS
Senator Sehar Kamran (TI), President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf studies
(CPGS) termed Indian Anti-Satellite Weapon (ASAT) test as “reckless and
threatening.”
Senator Sehar Kamran, 29th March 2019
Pakistan Day is a momentous day in our history
Senator Sehar Kamran, 21st March 2019
“No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by
side with you.” Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Senator Sehar Kamran, on 7th March 2019
Participation in
Seminars, Conferences & Events
As a Guest of Honour in a
SDPI Pakistan Seminar
“Corridors in South Asia: A
Bumpy Road to Strategic
Stability”.
18 -03-2019
As a Speaker at Seminar
organized by Jammu & Kashmir
Self Determination Movement
International on “Hearing on
Kashmir at European
Parliament Human Rights
Committee” 22-03-2019
As a Speaker in “Two day
Parliamentary Conference
on legislative effectiveness
in Pakistan” organized by
Pakistan Institute of
Parliamentry Services.
19/20-03-2019
One day International
Conference on
“Pakistan-Russian Strategic
Relations: Prospects for
Cooperation” organized by
Strategic Vision Institute
27-03-2019
CGSS-International Conference
on SCO Future Prospects &
Regional Connectivity
12-03-2019
National Conference on
“Pakistan China Economic
Cooperation: Next Level” at
ISSI organized by China Pakisan
Study Center, Islamabad
5-03-2019
Attended the Prade on
23rd March 2019
Media
A p p e a r e n c e s
Amnay Samnay With Noor-Ul-Arfeen (29th March 2019)
News Talk With Yashfeen Jamal (29th March 2019)
SUCH TOU YEH HAI (28 March 2019)
GNN Morning with Najia Ashar(25 March 2019)
Live with Nadia Mirza (21 March 2019)
Gar Tu Bura Na Mane with Faisal Qureshi (20 March 2019)
Seedhi Baat Beenish Saleem Kay Sath (18 March 2019)
Amnay Samnay With Noor-Ul-Arfeen, (18 March 2019)
Politics Today with Farrukh Pitafi (04 March 2019)
CONTACT US
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051-2816107
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w w w . c p a k g u l f. o r g

 In the world’s shifting power dynamics, today’s nation states need to align themselves with organizations that secure their interests through dialogue and cooperation. In large part, peace and regional security now rest within states’ membership of legitimate intergovernmental organizations.

In South Asia, the idea of regional governance and international mediation is not new. But despite the existence of various regional organizations and third-party mediation, the region has historically failed to address and resolve its most longstanding regional disputes. There are a number of reasons for this, but power politics by member states and the vested interplay of global powers are two important ones.

Legitimate international governance is now the need of the hour, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), with its focus on the maintenance of regional peace and economic and humanitarian cooperation, has emerged as an important catalyst for regional integration.

Peace in South Asia depends perhaps singularly on the normalcy of relations between Pakistan and India. The strategic instability between them undermines the scope of regional cooperation and allows non-state actors to wreak havoc. In fact, the military standoff between the two nuclear armed neighbors in the wake of India’s Balakot misadventure in February have challenged the entire conflict resolution framework of our recent histories.

As for the two countries’ invaluable geo-strategic significance to the world, it becomes difficult to say whether or not this is a blessing as the region becomes increasingly prone to unresolved conflicts like Kashmir.

But it is precisely these broad security and economic concerns that have given SCO the impetus to operate as a balanced forum. Despite criticism, it is a fact that the organization understands security as a multidimensional idea comprising military, economic, environmental, human and political factors; a holistic security paradigm which allows both member and non-member states to pool in their resources and potential to maximize output and counter common challenges. Accompanied by a democratic charter and a 2025 development agenda, SCO can serve India and Pakistan as both a conflict resolution framework and a road-map towards stability.

Legitimate international governance is now the need of the hour, and the SCO, with its focus on the maintenance of regional peace and economic and humanitarian cooperation, has emerged as an important catalyst for regional integration. Sehar Kamran

The organization’s charter lays down a criterion-based approach to ensuring regional integration. It’s very first article ensures that existing and aspiring members avoid direct military conflict. The second article deals with the principle implementation of mutual non-use of force. Article three covers the idea of regional integration through economic cooperation. This trilateral combination of SCO articles means that states agree to set aside differences in favor of long-term gains. In the end, it is the idea that economic and political stability are outcomes of economic development that serves as the foundational ground for SCO membership.

The availability of a mature regional anti-terrorist structure (RATS) and joint military exercises further add to the SCO’s strategic significance for India and Pakistan and the convergence of their interests empower the organization to bridge trust deficits. RATS is the first institution of its kind, and manages to engage the collective efforts of all member states to address separatism, extremism and terrorism. It could benefit not only Pakistan, India and Afghanistan but other regional states as well.

According to Chinese President Xi Jinping, “SCO members have created a new model of international relations- partnerships instead of alliance.”

It is imperative for policymakers to keep in mind that geopolitics and geo-economics are not only about overriding one’s competitor but to find space for creating mutual interdependencies i.e. to cooperate instead of competing for power. It is these mutual interdependencies that minimize the risk of conflict and enhance the prospects of a lasting peace.

*Senator Sehar Kamran T.I. is the President of Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) and member of the Senate Forum for Policy Research (SFPR) from 2018-2021. She has also served as a member Senate of Pakistan for the term 2012-2018.

Same version of this Article is published in ArabNews

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