IBA Karachi hosted the First Foreign Ministers' Forum
Karachi, September 12, 2015: Institute of Business Administration (IBA) hosted the first Foreign Ministers' Forum at J S Auditorium, IBA City campus. This Foreign Ministers' Forum brought together three distinguished politicians, namely Mr. Sartaj Aziz- Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security & Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar- 26th Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri- 23rd Minister of Foreign Affairs for a discussion, moderated by Dean & Director IBA- Dr. Ishrat Husain; regarding Pakistan's Foreign policy objectives and the role our nation plays in an increasingly interconnected world.
IBA faculty, Dr. Huma Baqai opened the event and welcomed the three dignitaries and all the esteemed guests present.
Taking to the podium, Dr. Ishrat Husain, Dean & Director IBA welcomed the audience to a first forum of its kind. Dr. Ishrat said that for IBA's 60th anniversary celebrations, he wanted to bring a different, more serious form of discussion to the IBA platform- so that the IBA students learn about foreign policy developments from the actual people that served in the office and developed policies for Pakistan. He further said that the leaders of tomorrow must have a clear factual picture of the country and for this purpose these eminent dignitaries have been brought to IBA. Dr. Ishrat said, 'I have had the pleasure of working with these three and I have nothing but admiration and respect for them and that's why I present these three models to IBA students so that they know that not all politicians are self-serving'.
Addressing the audience the first panelist Mr. Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri talked about his new book 'Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove'. In this book Mr. Kasuri has extensively written about Pakistan and its relations with other countries. Talking about Foreign relations he said, 'To save this country is to live by the vision of Quaid e Azam'. Mr. Kasuri said that the role of a Foreign Office is invaluable, the work of Foreign Office cannot be done by the army nor the ISI.
Addressing the issue of Pakistan & India relations, he said peace between the two countries was possible and peace has prevailed between the two nations due to the efforts of the Pakistan army.
Expressing her views on an ideal Foreign Policy for Pakistan, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar said that a Foreign Policy should reflect the internal dimensions of a country. She also said that a foreign policy should be proactive and not reactive and also it shouldn't be defined by hostility. She said that a foreign policy should promote a country's national interest and we shouldn't be too stuck on enemies to lose sight of our friends. She said that it was both in Pakistan and India's interests to have normalization of relations with each other. She also said that we look for strong relationships with countries thousands of miles away and don't focus on improving our relations with our neighbouring countries. To promote good relations with the neighbouring countries, Ms. Khan visited Kabul thrice and Washington DC only once.
Addressing the audience, Mr. Sartaj Aziz gave an overview of the global environment. Then expressing his views on the Pakistan India relations, he said ever since the victory of BJP in 2014 elections with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, there has been a greater Indian belligerence along the LoC and working boundary as well as a continuing reluctance to resume the dialogue process.
Mr. Aziz said that Pakistan's domestic security challenges have a strong relationship with Pakistan's Foreign Policy. He said that the ground realities of Pakistan are rapidly changing for the better with action to combat violence and terrorism in Pakistan. He also said that the current Foreign Policy of Pakistan focused more on the collective betterment of the Pakistani nation rather than focusing on other countries' predicaments and also by safeguarding Pakistan's internal security by eliminating the menace of extremism, intolerance & violence through concentrated political and defense movements. He further added that Foreign Policy of a country is an integral part of its National Security Policy.
Concluding the discussion, Dr. Ishrat Husain said that people respect a country that is in order and if NOT then no foreign policies and diplomacies can help a country.
Then the floor was opened to questions, where many hard hitting questions were put forward to the panelists, which the panelists replied to in great detail.
The ending note was presented by IBA faculty Dr. Framji Minwalla, he offered his thanks to the full auditorium, which included many reputable personalities from all walks of the society. He also thanked Dr. Ishrat for making events of this nature possible at IBA.
To conclude the event, plaques and momentos were presented to the esteemed guests by Dean & Director IBA- Dr. Ishrat Husain.