Pakistan making transition from geopolitics to geoeconomics: Senator Mushahid Hussain

Moreover, the Senator Mushahid Hussain said after 42 years of war in Afghanistan, which affected Pakistan directly, the country cannot be a party to any new conflict, confrontation, or a Cold War, as connectivity and cooperation are the need of the hour.

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ISLAMABAD, Senator Mushahid Hussain said Pakistan was in a strategic location where huge transformations and transitions were taking place, the peaceful rise of China, and Pakistan endeavoring to be the hub of regional connectivity through CPEC, by making a transition from geopolitics to geo-economics.

He said this in a keynote address at an International webinar on Monday comprising experts from three continents, who called for greater cooperation and connectivity to combat common challenges like Climate Change, hunger, poverty, and the Pandemic, rejecting any notion of confrontation or a new Cold War.

The webinar was organized by the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) under its flagship ‘Friends of Silk Road’ series, titled “Big Power competition in the post-pandemic World Order and the Belt and Road Initiative”, with speakers from Pakistan, China, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, UK, and the US, said a news release.

Moreover, Senator Mushahid Hussain said after 42 years of war in Afghanistan, which affected Pakistan directly, the country cannot be a party to any new conflict, confrontation, or a Cold War, as connectivity and cooperation are the need of the hour.

 

Similarly, he called for an end to the war in Ukraine, adding it is raising new tensions and has had unexpected consequences like food and fuel shortages.

Senator Mushahid Hussain underlined the need for proactively promoting CPEC, which is the flagship of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which he termed the most significant diplomatic and developmental initiative in the 21st Century.

He hoped all Asian countries would stay away from any Cold War. He said while the US was still clinging to a military-centric approach, as evident through the QUAD, AUKUS, and seeking a global NATO, conversely, China sought an economic-driven vision through connectivity and regional cooperation, particularly BRI which now has 145 countries and 32 international organisations in its fold.

Former Foreign Secretary, Ambassador (R) Tehmina Janjua, chaired the webinar while Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee and the Pakistan-China Institute, made a keynote speech.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, remarked that China had done miracles by uplifting 800 million people out of poverty.

She described the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as an opportunity to leverage the economic potential of the global South in the post-pandemic period.

The belief in western policy circles that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has strategic rather than economic grounds has harmed China’s aspirations to build a prosperous community.

She described the US and its allies’ efforts to limit China on all fronts as ‘unfortunate,’ because they will have major ramifications not just for the global South, but also for the US and its allies, because such development impacts everyone, not just the one being targeted.

Former Sri Lankan naval commander, Jayanath Colombage debunked the debt-trap theory surrounding China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Sri Lanka owes less than 10% of its foreign debt to China, according to him, and that 10% is actually highly advantageous to Sri Lanka because it has produced enormous economic prospects for the country’s citizens.

Furthermore, he urged aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with China’s domestic economic conditions so that both nations can secure high-quality BRI project development.

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