A seminar on”Emerging Challenges in South Asia – The Role of the International Community”was organized at the Embassy, today.

Speakers included Ambassador Vincenzo Prati, former Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, Prof. Paul Bhatti, former Federal Minister of National Harmony and Minorities Affairs, Ms. Francesca Manenti, Senior Research Analyst, CeSI and Ambassador Nadeem Riyaz.

The Deputy Head of Mission opened the seminar by highlighting the characteristics of South Asia and the various challenges faced by it. These include difficult relations between neighbours, need for interfaith harmony, the conflict in Afghanistan and situation in Kashmir.

Ambassador Prati spoke about the need for increased European engagement with the region and the role the international community can play in enhancing peace and prosperity in South Asia.

Prof. Bhatti dilated about the need for religious tolerance and underlined the steps taken by the government for improving the situation of minorities in Pakistan. He criticized the BJP government for adopting policies against minorities, including Christians in India.

Ms. Manenti elaborated on the situation in Afghanistan, its potential implications on peace in the region, upcoming Presidential elections and the role international community needs to play for stability of the region.

The Ambassador explained the situation in IoK. He highlighted atrocities being committed against the innocent people of Kashmir by the Indian security forces. He drew the attention of the audience to the UNSC resolutions and said that the people of Kashmir must be given their right of self-determination. He called upon the international community to play its due role for the protection of the right of the Kashmiri people. He said that Indian actions have made the situation explosive in the region.

The panellists then engaged in a 45 minutes Q&A session with the audience.

The event was attended by over 100 persons which included senior officials from the Vatican, Italian government, parliamentarians, journalists, academics, members of various civil society and human rights groups and students.

Rome
26 September 2019

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