Category Archives: PIIA

Brexit: The Withdrawal Agreement

The draft Withdrawal Agreement of 19 March 2018 includes agreed legal text for the implementation period, citizens’ rights, and the financial settlement, as well as a significant number of other articles. The UK and the EU negotiating teams aim to finalise the entire Withdrawal Agreement by October 2018.

Dr Masuma Hasan’s Welcome Speech: PIIA’s South Asia Peace Conference 2017


thumbnail_3Conference on Peace in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges, 15 – 16 November 2017, Address of Welcome, Dr. Masuma Hasan, Chairperson, The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Zubair, Governor of Sindh, Ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed a great honour and privilege for me to welcome you to this session which His Excellency Mr. Mamnoon Hussain has graced with his presence. I am extremely grateful to him for being with us today inspite of other pressing engagements. He is the symbol of the federation of Pakistan and those who are aware of the politics of our country are also aware of the positive role he has played to consolidate democracy in our country. With his wisdom he has shown a deep understanding of international politics and has represented Pakistan at many important diplomatic initiatives abroad.

The Institute has organized this Conference on Peace in South Asia to mark 70 years of its founding. We have chosen the theme of peace not only because of its contemporary relevance but also because of its historic link to the sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan when he inaugurated the Institute. In his speech on that occasion he said “That so soon after the establishment of Pakistan, a Pakistan Institute of International Affairs has come into existence is a matter of gratification.” Calling for world peace, he continued, that international affairs effect not only governments; they also effect the people. What happens in one part of the world has its reactions in other parts. If peace is disturbed in one continent it has its effects in another. Continue reading

British Deputy High Commissioner Karachi Belinda Lewis Visits PIIA Library

Belinda Lewis is the British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi. Like PIIA chairman Dr Masuma Hasan, she is a Girtonian. She visited our library on 6 April 2017. A former banker, she has also worked in cross-border law enforcement cooperation for the Department for Constitutional Affairs and has also advised the US Department of Homeland Security on bilateral and other data sharing arrangements. She has also worked for the UK Home Office. She has worked for the Ministry of Justice and also in Afghanistan. She was the former UK Deputy Ambassador to Iraq and in June 2016 she became DHC Karachi and UKTI Director for Pakistan.

Noting that annual bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is $1.5bn, in her article entitled The future of UK-Pakistan trade (9 April 2017) Belinda argues that:

With Pakistan, we have a shared history, a common language, similar consumer tastes and the same eye for quality: it’s no coincidence I chose to have my wedding dress made here in Pakistan. Our shared history paves the way for a stronger, closer future trading relationship to the mutual benefit of both of our countries.

Some pictures of her visit to the PIIA can be found below

Dr Masuma Hasan’s Speech on Event in Memory of the Legendary Fatehyab Ali Khan

The legendary Pakistani politician Fatehyab Ali Khan (1936-2010) was for many years the Chairman of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. Speaking to the members of PIIA in a session chaired by Dr Masuma Hasan on 1 October 2016, Senate chairman Raza Rabbani said: “Today we find that we are where Fatehyab left us and have not progressed after that. Article 6 of the Constitution failed to bring a culprit, a former head of state, to book, and allowed him to leave the country.” Dr Masuma’s speech is available below.

Mani Shankar Aiyar on Indian Foreign Policy

As seen on our Pakistan Horizon Blog, Mani Shankar Aiyar (member of the Indian Upper House, the Rajya Sabha) spoke at the PIIA on  Continuity and Change in India’s Foreign Policy. The video is available below. He said: If we don’t talk to Pakistan we will never be able to find a solution…It would be foolish to have cordial relations with Paraguay and just ignore Pakistan’ .

Call Me Dave: The Unauthorised Biography

This book has put the British prime minister in some embarrassment. This is a review by Ian Jack of the Guardian, see also Chris Mullen in today’s Observer. Cameron has denied the allegations in the book. “Piggate” is not certain. Jack’s article is as follows: Revenge may be a dish best served cold; the question is, where should it be served? In a book or a newspaper, and, if a newspaper, which? In 2011, Isabel Oakeshott memorably set out the possibilities in her conspiratorial email conversation with Vicky Pryce, who was eager to destroy her former husband Chris Huhne’s political career by disclosing his lies about a speeding offence. Pryce and her friend, the then judge Constance Briscoe, were already in preliminary talks with a journalist from the Mail on Sunday about a “tell-all” book and its potential for serialisation. Oakeshott, who worked for the Sunday Times, gave it the thumbs down. “I think your reputation would be really damaged … the Mail on Sunday is – at the end of the day – a fairly downmarket publication and a lot of people would think it a bit tawdry for you to be cooperating with them,” she wrote. “I know it’s got a big readership, but so has the News of the World!” People, she continued, would assume Pryce had made money from the deal, which would affect her reputation and any chance of her joining the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee or “perhaps even the House of Lords”. Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour’s New Leader