States can resolve security issues through economic ties: FM

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday called for promoting interdependence among countries for making the world safer and prosperous instead of seeking kinetic solutions of security problems.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day international conference at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).

“The exclusive focus of global and regional powers on the military and security dimensions of what is happening in Asia will be short-sighted. The BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) and its flagship projects like CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), offer a ray of hope that inclusive and pluralistic solutions would make our world safer, securer and more prosperous,” Mr Qureshi said.

The minister noted that many security issues could be resolved through economic collaboration instead of kinetic means.

“We, therefore, need to make a concerted effort for a paradigm shift away from security-driven agenda…. (and towards) inter-dependence and connectivity,” he said.

He was of the opinion that the much-needed paradigm shift could be achieved through China’s BRI project and its associated projects like CPEC.

Mr Qureshi said the four major issues facing the region were: the US-China competition, especially trade-related issues; US-Iran tensions; instability in Afghanistan; and an over-reaching and Hindutva-driven India.

These issues, he said, could badly affect regional peace and security, besides hampering economic development.

ISSI Director General Amb Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, while deliberating on the shifting regional dynamics, said a great power tussle could spell an end to old globalism, while giving birth to its newer version.

He added that BRI and CPEC could help navigate contemporary challenges.