Tag Archives: Development

Programme for PIIA Conference on Climate Change

There is more glacial ice in Pakistan than anywhere on Earth but the glaciers are melting and Pakistan is considered to be the seventh most vulnerable country in the world in respect of climate change. The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs is holding a Conference on Climate Change: An Existential Challenge for Pakistan on 3 and 4 May 2019. The full programme is available below.

Video from PIIA event on CPEC

Professor Matthew McCartney , a renowned specialist in development in South Asia, addressed the members of the PIIA on 31 March 2019. “CPEC really does seem like the culmination of a much longer economic cooperation with China for Pakistan. So here is a long-term committed China-Pakistan relationship unlike what the USA is criticised of,” he said. “Still, there may be a lot more going on other than China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative outside Pakistan that is happening inside it, which is crucial to know for a big project of $60bn, that is CPEC.” The video for the event is below.

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

President Mamnoon Hussain’s Speech: PIIA’s South Asia Peace Conference 2017

Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Address to the “Conference on Peace in South Asia” (Karachi: November 15, 2017). “Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem”. Masuma Hasan, Chairperson, Pakistan Institute of International Affairs, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, Excellencies, Experts in International Relations—and Respected Ladies and Gentlemen! Assalam-o-Alaikum.

It is a matter of great pleasure for me to participate in this conference on peace in South Asia under the auspices of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA). The foundation of this institution was laid by Quaid-e-Millat Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan. Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had a very real and deep understanding of contemporary foreign policy issues, especially about peace, stability and progress in South Asia. I still believe that best results can be achieved by following the principles enunciated by Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan and other founding fathers of Pakistan in our quest for regional peace and security. It is encouraging to see deliberation on such matters in the face of modern day challenges and changes in the regional and global landscape, for which I congratulate PIIA and its team. Continue reading

The Rohingya of Pakistan: Burmi Colony in Karachi

This is an excellent write up from Dawn about the Rohingya community in Karachi. As is well known, more than 400,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh because the Myanmar military is burning Muslim villages and driving people from their land. The UN has described Myanmar’s behaviour as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.  feature of 17 September 2017 in Dawn is most informative about the Rohingya in Pakistan. The west’s great heroine, Aung San Suu Kyi has failed to address the situation at all and there have been calls to strip her of her Nobel peace prize. The picture above is from one of the Rohingya villages recently burned by Buddhist monks and Myanmar military forces. 

Pakistani passports hold no value, at least not to those in power.

“Look at the date of issuance, look at it!” exclaims Mohammad.

“July 31, 1954.”

“And they are still asking us to prove our nationality.”

All of us tut-tut in unison. We are seated outside the Arakan Muslim Primary and Secondary School, about nine of us huddled in a circle as life around us moves ahead as normal. This is Burmi Colony, home to about 55,000 Rohingya Muslims in Karachi. There are other colonies in the area that are also housing the Rohingya but this is arguably the largest.

The Burmi Colony is located on the edge of the Korangi Industrial Area, perhaps the mega-city’s largest industrial zone. Apart from products, Korangi and the adjoining Landhi area produce the largest number of low-wage workers settled in small settlements off the main road running across the two zones. Burmi Colony, like the others, is organised along ethnic lines.

The ongoing strife in Myanmar’s Rakhine State targeting the minority Muslim population has shone a light on Karachi’s own substantial Rohingya population. Who are they and what are they all about? Eos finds out…

There are many in the neighbourhood who claim to have arrived in (West) Pakistan well before the formation of Bangladesh. Most Rohingya often identify themselves to officials as Bengalis because this provides them a chance to claim Pakistan citizenship. It is only the recent events in Myanmar which have made them own up to their identity publicly. An elderly grocer who could barely speak Urdu narrates that he arrived in 1965 as a boy. His son is now father to three. Continue reading

Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan on Pakistan’s Foreign Relations

We recently republished this classic, from our archives, in the Pakistan Horizon. In his piece, Sir Zafrulla Khan commented on the inadequacy of resources for the fledgling, refugee state of Pakistan but he was full of hope for the future of the country. As stated on his Wikipedia page, he was a Pakistani jurist and diplomat who served as first the foreign minister of Pakistan and the first Muslim, Asian and only Pakistani president for both the UN General Assembly and also the International Court of Justice. Born in Sialkot, British India, Khan was educated as a lawyer at GCU and King’s College and served as a member of Punjab Legislative Council between 1926 till 1931. He was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London, England. An excellent paper by Victor Kattan entitled Decolonizing the International Court of Justice: The Experience of Judge Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan in the South West Africa Cases is well worth reading as well.

He became a member of the All-India Muslim League which led the Pakistan movement and served as the league’s president between 1931 and 1932. In 1935 he became the Minister of Railway of British India, and sat on the British Viceroy’s Executive Council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. Continue reading

Gwadar: The New Shenzhen?

A new Shenzhen? Poor Pakistan fishing town’s horror at Chinese plans is another interesting read in the Guardian. It can be extracted as follows: The Mega-port will bring five-star hotels and Chinese access to the Arabian Sea, as residents in conflict-torn province contend with lack of water and food. Gwadar is poor. When a house was recently burgled in the fishing settlement on Pakistan’s desert coast, the only items stolen were cans of fresh water – a staple that has soared in value since reservoirs dried up. It lies in Balochistan, a province in the grip of a long-running separatist insurgency and Pakistan’s most neglected. Yet local officials dream of a future where Gwadar becomes a second Shenzhen, the Chinese trade hub bordering Hong Kong. Visitors are told that with Chinese investment the small settlement will become a major node of world commerce boasting car factories, Pakistan’s biggest airport and a string of five-star resort hotels along Gwadar’s sparkling seafront. But residents are aghast, and not just because the fishing community, long settled on the neck of the peninsula, will be moved to new harbours up to 40km away. “This is all being done for China, not the people,” said Elahi Bakhsh, a fisherman bewildered by the plans to turn Continue reading