Intelligence Expert Says Pakistan-US Relationship Will Mend
Markham: On Feb-23, Canada-Pakistan Business Council hosted an event at their headquarters with Kamran Bokhari as a Guest Speaker. Kamran is the Vice-President of Middle Eastern & South Asian Affairs with STRATFOR, a global intelligence company headquartered in Austin, Texas and a Fellow with the Detroit-based think tank, Institute for Social Policy & Understanding (ISPU). He is also a senior consultant with the World Bank. Bokhari plays a pivotal role in enhancing the firm’s intellectual capital on a diverse array of geographical areas: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt.
Over 80 prominent members of the business community, professionals and politicians attended the event including Senator Salma Ataullah Jan, MPP Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Mr. Imran Ali and Mr. Akbar Adil Shah from the Consulate of Pakistan, Mr. Akhil Tyagi of MEDT, staff of the Premier’s office, Hon. Sinclair Stevens, former Pakistan Ambassadors, Naeem Hassan and Saquib Mawaz Khan.
Kamran gave an insight into the geo political situation of South Asia and Middle-East and its global impact. He started his talk from the invasion by Soviet Union on Afghanistan followed by the breakup of USSR. He talked about the role of Pakistan and the United States in the proxy war which eventually led to the Talibanization of the region. Moving further he talked about USA’s role as the sole super power. Then came 9/11 and the Iraq war which put a tremendous psychological effect on the US economy and the politics, thus deteriorating the global influence of United States as a super power. He further elaborated on the uprising in the Arab world which has further created a situation of concern for the security in the region. The current situation of Iran moving forward towards the nuclear arm race did not seem to alarm much as a threat but more so as a political maneuvering of power.
Talking about the United States-Pakistan relationship, Kamran felt it needed some adjustments and was quite optimistic that it would happen in due course, but will require some time. About the big power game being played by several countries with interest in Baluchistan which is full of natural resources, a deep harbour and an easy access to the neighboring countries, Kamran felt that Pakistan will be able to sort out the political compromises with the province and did not feel that Baluchistan will separate. Regarding the Indo-Pak relationship, he felt that India and Pakistan came very close towards the friendly relationship which was stalled due to the resignation of General Musharraf. The relationship after the Mumbai attack is being restored through trust and confidence building measures. The recent reciprocation of MFN status to India is the first step towards the beginning of the economic prosperity between the two countries. What needs to be seen is how Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US play their cards after the NATO and US forces leave Afghanistan in 2014.
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