ISLAMABAD: The Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) began its 2nd Annual International Conference: Regional Dialogue 2023. The three-day event was inaugurated by Dr. Arif Alvi, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The main theme of the conference this year is Contemporary Traditional and Nontraditional Security Threats in South Asia encompassing pertinent issues such as great power competition, the significance of maritime domination, and democratic values. On the nontraditional challenges, the conference brought together academics, politicians, practitioners, and diplomats from home and abroad to deliberate on issues of climate change, population, health, energy shortages, food security, and the emerging challenge of cybersecurity.

Dr Arif Alvi in his inaugural remarks lauded the initiative by IRS and said that it was high time for the world to redirect the world order on a trajectory that prioritized quality of human life at its core.

Dr Moeed Yusuf, former National Security Adviser while deliberating upon the aforesaid challenges said that there was a serious need for attention to overseeing the equitable distribution of available resources. He said that in the case of Pakistan, it was imperative to ensure uniformity between the center and the provinces. A starting point in this regard could be to empower institutions such as the Council of Common Interests, he said. He added that on a regional level, geopolitical and historical constraints had rendered a sustainable level of cooperation between India and Pakistan unsuccessful. However, engagement was the only way forward.

Ambassador Asif Durrani, Senior Research Fellow at IPRI said that while regionalism was still a rather new construct, there was a need to strengthen regional linkages for a better collective future of the countries in South Asia. He added that CPEC could serve as a starting point in this regard and could also serve as the South and Central Asian Transit Hub.

The first day of the Regional Dialogue 2023 also featured several academics from Pakistan and abroad, including Dr. Arshi Saleem Hashmi, Dr. Ahmed Ijaz Malik, Dr. Christian Wagner, and Dr. Yelena Biberman.

  • Press Release

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