The Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad hosted a Public Talk as well as the launch of the book, titled, “Defence and Diplomacy”. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Ambassador Masood Khan, the Director General Institute of Strategic Studies, while introducing the speaker, said that S.M. Hali has a deep understanding of Pakistan’s interests and is an ardent defender of Pakistan’s causes. These facets are fully reflected in Hali’s book “Defence and Diplomacy”.
Ambassador Khan also paid tribute to Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman for his effective leadership of the Air Force, his intellectual depth and his professionalism. The distinguished Chief Guest, Air Marshal Sohail Aman lauded S.M. Hali’s important contribution to the discourse on Pakistan’s Foreign and Security Policy. Some very important questions about the Pakistan Air Force’s ability to fight the looming threat of Daesh and terrorism, to which the Air Chief responded by explaining that the Pakistan Air Force has always been very effective and has fought to the best of its ability.
He also stated that the Air Force, under his command is planning for years ahead and is in the process of manufacturing aircraft, training personnel and fighting groups like Daesh is not a very big challenge for an able and professional force like the PAF. He said that from the Pilot Officers to the technicians, the entire force is comprised of thoroughly professional people. The CAS said that if ISIL ever dared to come to Pakistan its fate could not be different from Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
He also mentioned the importance of research to the policy making process and how awareness among policy makers is important for decisions to be taken effectively. Two eminent panelists, Lt. General Talat Masood and Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi also commented on the book.
General Talat Masood, and eminent analyst, praised S. M. Hali’s valuable contribution to the intellectual discourse and shed light on the wide range of issues covered in the book. He also appreciated Hali’s engagement with research and his eye for detail, without losing touch with objectivity. Moreover, General Talat Masood also appreciated the all encompassing approach of the author in bringing out a comprehensive volume which is both analytical and insightful. Similarly, he said that S.M. Hali presents Pakistan’s point of view with great force, which is reflective of great confidence to the outside world. The second speaker, Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, while expressing his views about S.M. Hali’s book Defence and Diplomacy stated that the book has an excellent theme and lauded it as a much needed addition to the existing literature on the subject. Moreover, he also said that the book is an excellent record of the past decade and policy makers as well as students should benefit from valuable additions like this.
S. M. Hali, appreciated his mentors in the Pakistan Air Force and informed the audience about the painstaking and arduous journey that he covered while putting this book in shape and gave an example of a chapter on RAW, which took him several years to complete. He also shared an audio message from the former Chief of Air Staff Air marshal Asghar Khan. The Book Launch was concluded by closing remarks by the Chairman of the Institute of Strategic Studies, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, who appreciated Hali’s contributions to electronic and print media and for producing an excellent academic piece which dwells on objectivity and clarity of thought and understanding.