Subject: Pakistan Today Roundtable Report
Posting Date: 24 May 00
Author(s): SAP Canada Secretariat
South Asia Partnership Canada took the initiative, on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, to hold a Roundtable discussion on Pakistan at the International Development Research Centre on May 24, 2000.
The purpose of the Roundtable was:
· to hear a spectrum of views from a group of Canadians, each interested in and concerned about the situation in Pakistan, on what Canada and Canadians might do to promote democracy for all people in the country.
· to provide a summary of the Roundtable discussion to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as a sampling of views on the matter, and to make it publicly available to interested organizations and people.
During the event, participants heard from the Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan on his view of the political, economic and social situation in Pakistan following the 1999 military take-over of government and from a senior official of DFAIT with a summary of the Commonwealth’s present position toward Pakistan.
The participants discussed the situation in Pakistan. There was a general recognition that Pakistan faces profound and severe social, economic and political problems. Discussion among the participants fell under four themes: ambivalence about the status of the regime; the program of the regime; what is missing from that program; and Islam’s place in society.
Participants also discussed potential actions for change in the short- and long-term. The four arenas for action that permeated the discussion were:
- Actions by Pakistanis, who have prime and ultimate responsibility.
- Dialogue and actions in the South Asia region through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
- Measures and assistance through the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).
- Bilateral assistance and examples offered by the Canadian Government, and by NGOs and other individual Canadians.
The full report is available form download in PDF: Pakistan Roundtable 2000 REP-Final