Holistic policy to help India, Pak to prosper: Raghavan

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/10/2019 2:17:38 PM

CUJ organizes seminar on “Trans-boundary issues in S Asia”

JAMMU, Feb 9: Former Ambassador TCA Raghavan Saturday stated that inconsistencies in Indo-Pak bilateral ties would remain yet a holistic policy would help both nations to prosper.
He was delivering his keynote address on “Indo-Pak relations: The Way Forward” in a national seminar organized by the Department of National Security Studies of Central University of Jammu (CUJ) at the School of Business Studies auditorium, University of Jammu.
The seminar on “Trans-boundary issues in South Asia” specially focused on Indus Water Treaty (IWT) and Indo-Pak relations. In the seminar which deliberated on two broader issues “Indus Water Treaty” and “Indo-Pak Relations: The Way Forward”, the key speakers were Pradeep Kumar Saxena, IAS, Indian Commissioner for Indus Water Treaty, Government OI, Balraj Joshi, Chairman and Managing Director, NHPC, Ambassador (retired) Phunchok Stobdan, president, Ladakh International Centre, Leh, Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (retired), Chancellor, Central University of Kashmir, Tilak Devasher, former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat.
The value of heart to heart talks was given priority by Raghavan while deliberating on “India-Pakistan relation - the way forward.” In his keynote address, he focussed on India’s changing notions on foreign policy formulation beyond New Delhi. Historical perspective on Indo-Pak relations was explained by him pondering upon the historical episodes from the painful partition to the present day India Pakistan bilateral relations.
Raghavan , who is the Director General of Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA), said that the cultural hegemony of India can be used in Pakistan to Indian advantage. Beginning from the regression in Indo–Pak ties, he explained in detail the prolong shutdowns in the bilateral relations. He described the opening of Kartarpur Sahab as a significant diplomatic breakthrough.
He said that the development of Supreme Court and Election Commission in India influenced entire South Asia including Pakistan. He said that restricted visa policy was a threat to the holistic development. The sharing of thoughts using academia must also be encouraged, he added. “Unilateral military might is not sufficient in restoring peace. The military mind is trained to focus on capacity and not on intention. On the other hand diplomats are trained to analyse interests. There should be a balance between the military and diplomatic power,” Raghavan said. He pointed out that the earlier invasion of Soviet Union in Afghanistan soil was highly significant to India. He quoted Benazir Bhutto on her observation about Taliban in Pakistan, “Taliban is an existential threat to Pakistan.”
The first session of the seminar on Indus water treaty was mooted by a thought provoking speech by Prof Amitabh Mattoo of School of International Studies JNU. The speech provided a comprehensive analysis and deep insights about the historical Indus Water Treaty. Pradeep Kumar Saxena IAS, Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters (Government of India) presented his perspectives on the topic “Indus Water Treaty: Issues and challenges.” The detailed power point presentation focussed on the key issues pertaining to protecting India’s water security interests and the importance of asserting country’s views on Indus Water Treaty. The Kishen Ganga project and the advantages of Shahpurandi dam project, Ujh multipurpose project were given in-depth focus by the speaker who also added the fact that 90 percent irrigation in Pakistan was done using traditional methods which was adversely affecting the water resource utilisation in Pakistan. The presentation concluded by enlightening the audience about preserving India’s national interest and the public discourse in Pakistan with respect to Indus Water Treaty.
Dealing with the topic “Indus water treaty: Technical perspective, Balraj Joshi Chairman and Managing Director, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited started his presentation by explaining about the history of Indus Water Treaty. He specially focussed on the futuristic vision of the Indus Water Treaty preamble. The foresight of the Treaty formulators was given special mention in the presentation. Graphical representations and categorical analysis about the Treaty was the highlight of this presentation. The importance of mutual trust and Pakistan’s trust deficit was also narrated by the speaker. Salal project, issues related to sedimentation in dams and the efforts made by India on various water power projects like Kishenganga became the topic of the discourse followed by a lively question-answer session.
In the second session which related to “India-Pakistan relation - the way forward”, Tilak Devasher Member of National Security Council, former Special Secretary on Cabinet Secretariat focused on non- traditional security issues with Pakistan. “The single dimensional approach on dealing with Pakistan is a mistake and in-depth understanding on Pakistan will help in policy formulation,” he said. The need to demolish the anti India mindset in Pakistan was also the core focus of the speaker.
“Water and Pakistan population are the two focus area with respect to Pakistan non-traditional security issues,” he said. Water scarcity in Pakistan and its shocking impacts was given a detailed analysis using facts and figures. “The recommendations of National water policy are giving optimism Pakistan is not focusing on water when it comes to her budget. 207 Million Pakistani population need more people to fill. The complexities in population growth in Pakistan and the demographic profile in Pakistan are giving hopes for demographic dividend till 2045. Inadequate education and rising unemployment in Pakistan is a reality. The failure of the government schools has made the madrasas absorbing children and radicalising them. This could destabilize peace and stability in India –Pakistan relation. Radical anti India groups in Pakistan are slowly entering into the electoral process in Pakistan. Such a combination of events is dangerous to peace and stability,” he concluded.
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain Chancellor, Central University of Kashmir enlightened the audience on the military perspectives on the Indo–Pakistan relations. Chancellor Central University of Jammu ambassador (retired) G Parthasarathy delivered an insightful speech on India Pakistan ties. Dignitaries from various areas of expertise ranging from diplomats, academicians and defence personnel participated in the seminar. The presidential remark was delivered by Prof Ashok Aima, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Jammu. The seminar ended with the question-answer session.
The Department of National Security Studies of Central University of Jammu also signed an MoU with Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA). The formal vote of thanks for the inaugural session was delivered by Col Ravi Kumar the Registrar, Central University of Jammu.

 

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