Virtual Meeting between Centre for Strategic Perspectives & Institute for Peace Studies & Conflict Management, Vienna
The Centre for Strategic Perspectives (CSP) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) held a virtual meeting with a Vienna-based think tank, the Institute for Peace Studies & Conflict Management, on June 9, 2021. The meeting was attended by Director General ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Chairman BOG ISSI, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood and members of the CSP team. The meeting was moderated by Director CSP, Mr. Najam Rafique. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the two research organizations and to reach an understanding on extending research and events collaboration between ISSI and the Institute for Peace Support & Conflict Management.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Vienna, Mr. Aftab Ahmad Khokhar in his opening remarks emphasized on the importance and critical role of think tanks in guiding the policy makers of their respective countries, particularly in terms of economic diplomacy.
Director General ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry welcomed Dr. Johann Frank, Director, Institute for Peace Support & Conflict Management and his team members, and thanked Ambassador Aftab Ahmad Khokhar for facilitating the two research organizations in holding this meeting. Later, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry gave a detailed presentation on the organizational structure and research areas being covered by ISSI.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s presentation was followed by an introduction to the Institute for Peace Support & Conflict Management by Dr. Johann Frank.
The introduction was followed by an interactive discussion on the withdrawal of NATO forces and the peace process in Afghanistan. During the discussion, it was emphasized that the current situation in Afghanistan is very alarming and uncertain, and that there is an urgent need of a political settlement. The discussion highlighted that absence of a political settlement will result in international terrorist forces returning to Afghanistan which will definitely result in unprecedented turmoil in the region and spillover effects in neighboring countries like Pakistan. Four conclusions were identified including: a united stand by the international community to put pressure on the Afghans to finding a lasting peace; discouraging the spoilers from creating hurdles; focusing on border management; and provision of economic and humanitarian assistance for reconstruction in Afghanistan.
Executive Heads of both the institutes agreed on the need to increase institutional and academic linkages. Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry stated that Europe is an important continent and a valuable partner for Pakistan. He expressed his willingness to continue a structured exchange of views between the two institutes on mutually agreed themes.