Senior analysts, diplomats and academicians have stressed the need to strengthen political, economical, cultural relations among the regional countries to cope with security and other challenges in the wake of the modern international relations that are going through transformation.
They were addressing the inaugural session of a two day hybrid international conference on the theme of “Deciphering Global Security Architecture in the 21st Century: Exploring Pathways, Determining Strategies,” organized by Punjab University Department of Political Science in collaboration with the Centre for Global and Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad was held at Al-Raazi Hall here on Wednesday.
H.E. Mr. Yerzhan Kistafin, Ambassador of Kazakhstan, Embassy of Kazakhstan, Islamabad, PU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, Lt. Gen. Amir Riaz (r), President, CGSS, Prof. Dr. Hassan Askari Rizvi, Professor Emeritus and Former Chief Minister of the Punjab, Prof. Dr. Umbreen Javaid, Dean Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Prof. Dr. Iram Khalid, Chairperson, Department of Political Science, faculty members and scholars from various universities participated in the conference.
Mr. Yerzhan Kistafin while highlighting the significance of the conference topic in his address said that the modern international relations are going through noteworthy transformation. He said that in contemporary times, the relevance and efficacy of multilateral security apparatuses were declining paralleled with ever-growing non-traditional threats in form of terrorism and climate change. Referring to the changing nature of threats faced by states, he accentuated the need for coordinated efforts at the regional level to address the myriad of contemporary security challenges. He particularly emphasized the need for realizing the true potential of Kazakhstan-Pakistan relations for which joint efforts in the security and economic realm should be carried out. Prof Niaz Ahmad while pointing out the need for producing and disseminating policy relevant research and knowledge applauded the efforts of the Department of Political Science. He especially thanked CGSS for its coordinated efforts with the Punjab University in creating a learning environment for its students. Emphasizing the significance of the topic, he expressed his hopes that the conference papers would engage with significant and varied intellectual problems pertaining to the topic and would help draft new and effective strategies to address contemporary challenges.
Lt Gen Amir Riaz (r) began his address by explaining the nature of contemporary security architecture in which threats like climate change, pandemic and technological advancements are posing paramount challenges in addition to the presence of traditional threats to the state security. He said that the development of legal frameworks to address these issues is missing though resulting into an order-less world. He emphasized the need for production of original and quality research to understand the nature of contemporary security architecture and to guide required responses. According to him, maintaining credible sovereignty through political and social cohesion, economic depth, and knowledge-based society along with credible military power should be the goal of every nation as that is the sole route to prosperity in this chaotic world.
Prof Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi commended the choice of conference topic due to its strong policy relevance. He mentioned that national security in contemporary times is more complex and multifaceted. He said that the holistic nature of security could only be understood by taking into account both internal and external dimensions of security. He was of the view that states like Pakistan face a number of non-traditional security challenges in addition to the traditional ones. He stated that smaller powers like us should learn from the Ukrainian crisis and should realize that the strength of any state comes from within and autonomy of a state must be maintained at any cost. He suggested building a task-oriented relationship with great powers rather than choosing a single bloc amid growing competition between different poles of power. He concluded his address by accentuating the need for producing policy oriented and quality research which should gradually identify pathways for effective policy making.
Prof Dr Umbreen Javaid in her address mentioned that security is the primary concern of every state regardless of its position in power hierarchy. She emphasized that the traditional threats are replaced by non-traditional security threats in contemporary times. She said that any comprehensive response to the changing nature of security necessitates a holistic understanding of security and the two-day international conference will make a huge contribution to this process.
Prof. Dr. Iram Khalid mentioned that the post COVID era is a dangerous and volatile era experiencing digital insecurities, rising violence, resurging terrorism, social aggression and other varied threats to human security. She said that only by understanding the changing nature of local, national and global vulnerabilities amid these new and evolving trends, a fundamental change in our security priorities can be achieved. She said that we lack appropriate discourse accompanied by missing dialogue among stakeholders to frame the agenda as emerging national security issues bypass the traditional threats to state security. She said that by organizing this event, the Department of Political Science is providing an opportunity to academics and policymakers to understand the issue and to inform evolving national security policy.