“Emerging Geostrategic Dynamics and Implications for South Asia
Lecture by Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, DG, ISSI at the
April 11, 2021
“Europe is a resilient continent and Germany, as a country, stands out mainly for two reasons. Its economic potential and the role it plays on international stage. Pakistan has every reason to maintain strong relations with Germany.” This was stated by Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in his lecture on “Emerging Geostrategic Dynamics and Implications for South Asia and Pakistan.” The event was organized by German-Pakistan Forum on April 11, 2021, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Germany, H.E. Ambassador, Dr. Mohammad Faisal, supported by the Honorary Consul of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Dr. Pantelis Christian Poetis and by the Chairman of the Inter Country Committee Germany- Pakistan of Rotary International, Dr. Klaus Klennert.
The event was attended by diplomatic and research community as well as academics from all walks of life.
After brief introductory remarks, President German-Pakistan Forum, Prof. Dr. M.R.N. Jansen handed over the floor to the moderator of the lecture, Dr. Wolfgang Peter Zingel, Associate member South Asia Institute at the Heidelberg University who introduced Ambassador Chaudhry to the participants.
In his 40 minutes-long presentation, Ambassador Chaudhry touched upon various aspects of the emerging geostrategic dynamics and its implications for South Asia and Pakistan. He started his lecture with the description of the crumbling global order in which the UN Charter is being challenged; xenophobia is on rise; unilateralism and protectionism are increasing, while multilateralism is receding. He was of the view that changing global norms and intensifying major power competition, especially the one between China and the US, are becoming the defining features of emerging geostrategic dynamics. He talked about US-China competition in detail. Describing it as Washington’s three pronged policy, he listed three components of US ‘contain China’ strategy: firstly, India as a counter-weight to China; secondly, the institution of QUAD; and thirdly, South China Sea as a major theater of creating troubles for Beijing. Factoring Russia and Europe in this big powers competition, he said that Russia seems to be teaming up with China while taking lead in the security matters and Beijing in economic ones. Europe, however in his view, is still weighing its options.
Coming to the second part of his lecture – South Asia – he opined that the biggest trend is the US tilt towards India. Through its defense agreements, Washington is bolstering up India’s capacity as a counter-balance to China at a time when New Delhi is going through huge transformations. The alarming ones, Ambassador Chaudhry pointed out, are reviving the past glory of Hindu India which means destroying the secular base of democratic India. Propelled by RSS, the ideology of Hindutva is creating tensions for minorities in India and deteriorating the situation in Kashmir, which is a long-standing dispute in South Asia. Kashmir is an illegally occupied territory according to the UNSC, and the identity of Kashmiris is being suppressed by India.
Speaking about the Afghan issue, he said that it needs to be resolved through Afghan-owned and Afghan-led processes. Furthermore, he also discussed Saudi-Iran rivalries and the US-Iran tensions as underlying causes of tensions in the region. Coming to how Pakistan is steering its foreign policy in these troubled waters, he said that his country is on the path to devising a new comprehensive strategy which covers an entire spectrum of emerging security threats: food security, economic security, climate change, hybrid warfare and other non-traditional threats. He briefly examined the salient features of Pak-German relations and said that Germany’s potential as a trading partner and the role its plays in various international crisis such as Crimean crisis, immigration crisis, and its relations with China and Russia, make it stand out in the European theatre. He informed the audience of having the privilege to participate in the second and third round of Pak-German Strategic Dialogue.
Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Germany, H.E. Dr. Mohammad Faizal congratulated the two nations on competing 70 years of diplomatic relations. He also complimented the German-Pak Forum for successful completion of 60 years.
The lecture was followed by a short question-answer session.