Shashi Tharoor to Speak at Jamia on Aug. 28

[Following is a Jamia press release dated Aug. 27, 2012]

The Pakistan Studies Programme, Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia is holding the Second India-China Dialogue on the Evolving Security Environment in the Af-Pak Region in collaboration with the Centre for South Asia-West China Cooperation and Development Studies (SAWCCAD), Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China on 27th and 28th August 2012 at the Jamia Millia Islamia.

The Pakistan Studies Programme had held the first India-China Experts’ Dialogue on “Pakistan and Regional Security” on 24th and 25th November 2009 at the Jamia Millia Islamia.

The objective of these dialogues is to help broaden India-China academic exchanges and deepen research; to develop and expand understanding of sensitive regional security issues.

The theme of the dialogue this year is the continuing instability in the AfPak region for over a decade now. The objective of the “War on Terrorism” is yet to be fulfilled. The Taliban continue to have a strong presence in the AfPak region. There is continuing violence in these regions. The announcement by the U.S and ISAF forces that they would be withdrawing a substantial number of forces from Afghanistan by 2014 has implications for regional stability. The nature of the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan after the anticipated withdrawal in 2014 is not clear. There is apprehension that the government in Kabul would not be able to sustain itself without international aid and support. There are doubts regarding the capability of the Afghan armed forces to maintain internal order and security and deal with the challenge from the Taliban. The future stability of the region is, thus, open to uncertainty. There are other questions in the context of the withdrawal of western forces from Afghanistan which require deliberation.

There is a need for India and China to enhance their understanding of the likely developments in the AfPak region. India and China have strong economic and security interests in Afghanistan. This dialogue will help in understanding each others’ point of view on the evolving regional security environment. Clearing up misunderstandings and misperceptions on regional security issues will also contribute to good neighbourly relations and promote peaceful development of the region.

The inaugural session of the Dialogue was held on 27th August at 10:00 a.m. Ambassador S.K Lambah, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan; delivered the Inaugural Address.

The valedictory session of the Dialogue will be held on 28th August at 4.30 p.m. The Valedictory Address will be delivered by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha. Prof. S. M Sajid, Registrar, Jamia Millia Islamia, will chair the Inaugural and Valedictory sessions.

The participants at the Dialogue include four scholars from China: Professor Li Jian, Vice President of China West Normal University, Nanchong, Sichuan; Dr. Shen Xiaochen, Institute for Central Asian Studies, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou; Dr. Zhang Jiadong, Center for American Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai, and Mr. Liu Jiawei, Director Assistant & Associate Fellow, Center for South Asia-West China cooperation & Development Studies, Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University, Chengdu.

Indian participants include: Ambassador M.K. Rasgotra, President, Observer Research Foundation, Centre for International Relations, Ambassador C. Gharekhan, Former Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Ambassador Vivek Katju, Former Secretary West, Ministry of External Affairs, Ambassador Arvind Gupta, Director General, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Mr. A.K. Doval, Director, Vivekananda International Foundation,  Prof. Varun Sahni, Prof. Swaran Singh, Dr. Gulshan Sachdeva from the Jawaharlal Nehru University,  Mr. Ajai Shukla, Consulting Editor (Strategic Affairs), Business Standard, Mr. Praveen Swami, Chief of the National Bureau, The Hindu, Mr. Sushant Sareen, Senior Fellow Vivekananda International Foundation, Mr. Wilson John, Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, Mr. Rana Banerji, and Dr. Ali Ahmed from the Jamia Millia Islamia.

All are cordially invited to the Valedictory session to be held at 4.30 PM in Mir Taqi Mir, Jamia Millia Islamia on 28 August, 2012.

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