In-House meeting with Dr. Piotr Balcerowicz (Press Release)

186

An In-House meeting was organised with Dr. Piotr Balcerowicz, Professor of South Asian Studies, Chair, University of Warsaw, Poland at Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad. Dr. Balcerowicz briefed the scholars regarding the economic crisis in Europe and informed that there is a certain degree of political and economic stability in Poland because it is not in the Eurozone. Although, being a member of European Union, Poland by now should have introduced Euro but so far it has not due to some political problems. Besides, Poland has been receiving huge amounts of funds from European countries for development purposes which hashelped keep the Polish economystable.

Economic crisis around the world leads to refugee crisis. EU countries should have been prepared to deal with such a situation but they were not. Poland so far has not been affected by this problem because geographically it is not in the route that the refugees or migrants usually take.

Regarding the situation in this region, Dr. Piotr Balcerowicz predicted that bilateral relations between India and Pakistan would not improve but both the countries would make sure that crisis does not lead to serious conflict because both the countries cannot afford it.

Dr. Piotr Balcerowicz answered a number of questions raised by the scholars regarding Pakistan’s perception in West particularly its role in war on terror and how Poland views US policies in the region. Dr. Piotr Balcerowicz said that there is a lot of misunderstanding on both sides. Different players are blamed for the plight of Afghanistan. Conflict in Afghanistan could have been solved within five years but no concrete steps were taken. He also said that Poland would not take part in any offensive against ISIS if it is ever taken.

Towards the end of the meeting, Director General ISSI Ambassador Masod Khan said that Pakistan was now a confident country. It had achieved major successes in fighting terrorism and its economic outlook was improving. Pakistan wanted India to come to negotiating table to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and other outstanding issues. Pakistan’s role vis-a-visAfghanistan was supportive. The world should recognise Pakistan’s critical role in rolling back occupation of Afghanistan in 1980s and the defeat of Al Qaeda since 9/11. He said that Pakistan was keen to revive the Afghan peace talks which had brought together the representatives of Afghanistan and Taliban and observers from China and US.

Mahwish H/06102015