Washington: Supporting India’s determination that “talks and terror” cannot go together, a former top Pakistan diplomat has said another high-level meeting between the two countries would be fruitless unless Islamabad ensures the terrorist infrastructure on its territory is dismantled. Pakistan’s recent initiatives for talks with India must be seen in the context of the economic and international pressures on it, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani told reporters here Tuesday. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France His remarks have come just ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Kyrgyzstan on June 13-14. India and Pakistan are part of the regional security grouping and leaders of both the countries are set to attend the meeting in Bishkek. In a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, Pakistan premier Imran Khan had requested resumption of talks between the two countries to resolve all differences. But no meeting has been planned between them on the sidelines of the summit. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize Haqqani’s remarks also came on a day the government in Islamabad presented its national budget amid an austerity drive to wriggle the country out of the financial mess it is in. Earlier this month on Eid festival, Khan said there will be no increase in the defence budget because of “our critical financial situation”. The defence budget presented Tuesday reflected that sentiment with no increase proposed in expenditure compared to last fiscal. Weeks ago, Khan’s government negotiated a USD 6 billion bailout package with the International Monetary Fund to overcome the financial woes. Haqqani said another high-level meeting between India and Pakistan would be meaningless unless it is accompanied with dismantling of terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and giving up the notion of the two countries being “permanent enemies”. “Between 1950 and December 2015, when Modi dropped in on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, leaders of the two countries have met 45 times,” he said, but talks have never led to durable peace. “The door to negotiations must never be considered permanently shut but nor should dialogue be an end in itself,” he reiterated. Haqqani, now the director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, is considered an uncompromising critic of the Pakistani establishment and the Jihadi ideology. He has often voiced his disagreements with the establishment during public discussions. In an article published recently, he wrote that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is right to have determined that talks for talks’ sake are meaningless as long as Pakistan refuses to change its view of its larger neighbour as a permanent enemy. In Haqqani’s view hostility towards India emanates from Pakistan’s national ideology based on religious identity and antipathy cultivated by the military that dominates the country. Like many other countries, India and Pakistan have unresolved disputes, he said, but other countries do not have national ideologies revolving around opposition to others. “Pakistan tends to engage in talks with India for global respectability, but its dominant military is unable to shed its ideological aversion to normal ties with India,” he stressed. The former diplomat cited the Pakistani military and said it was “not raised proportionate to an external threat”. “It needs a threat proportionate to its size to justify its claims on the meagre resources of a low-income country,” he said, adding Pakistan inherited one-third of British India’s army, which had originally been raised for the Second World War.
Jada Monica Drew, executive diversity & leadership trainer and author. Keynote title: “Building Youth Leadership using the Youth Action Project (YAP) Approach,” Saturday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. See more at: www.jadamonicadrew.com Debby Irving, racial justice educator and writer. Keynote title: “White Privilege 101: Getting in on the Conversations,” Friday, Sept. at 6 p.m. See more at: www.debbyirving.com Afua Cooper, community activist, scholar, dub poet and James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax. Keynote title: “Enslaved African Canadian Teenager and White Male Privilege,” Friday, Sept. 30 at 6:45 p.m. See more at: http://www.dal.ca/faculty/arts/jrjchair/about/CurrentChai.html Jasiri X, mentor, educator and community leader. Keynote title: “America’s Most Wanted: Hip Hop, Media, and Mass Incarceration,” Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. See more at: www.jasirix.com Shauneen Pete, associate professor, Regina University. Keynote title: “Acting Up: Activism and Action,” Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. See more at: http://www.uregina.ca/education/facultystaff/faculty/pete-shauneen.html White privilege knows no borders, says a world-renowned diversity scholar and founder of the White Privilege Conference.Eddie Moore Jr. says that while many in Canada believe prejudice and racism are problems for the U.S., no country is immune to issues of racial inequality and injustice.“White supremacy, white privilege and oppression is a global phenomenon,” he says. “It knows no borders.”Moore said the way to change the status quo is to expose it, analyze it and take action.“I really believe that some of the challenges associated with these issues are a result of not enough people naming it and examining it,” he says.The White Privilege Conference has been held in the United States for the past 18 years and for the first time the discussion is coming to Canada. Brock University will host the White Privilege Symposium Sept. 30-Oct. 1.“By bringing this symposium to Canada, it’s an opportunity to have some really bold and courageous conversations,” Moore says. “When we are able to share our knowledge, experience and wisdom we can come up with better results.”Shauneen Pete, Associate Professor at the University of Regina and Executive Lead on Indigenization of that university, said white privilege is an important conversation in Canada, especially considering its history.“The story of Canada is not a story about multiculturalism but a story of colonial white dominance: this truth must become a part of the social narrative we tell about ourselves,” she says. “In order to achieve the dream of reconciliation, members of the dominant group and those new Canadians who align with them, must learn the truths of our racialized past and begin to practice anti-racism in their personal and professional lives.”Debby Irving, a racial justice educator and writer, says most people incorrectly associate the term privilege with wealth. It’s a misconception she herself believed for most of her life, until she was a graduate student and a class opened her eyes to the privileges being white had afforded her.“In fact, privilege refers to access to rights, resources and other societal benefits,” she says. “One way to think about privilege is as the opposite of discrimination. Discrimination couldn’t exist without privilege, and vise versa.”Pre-eminent thinkers and researchers from both sides of the border exploring race, privilege and social justice will be presenting during the event at Brock.The following scholars will present keynote talks and workshops at the symposium:Ritu Bhasin, community activist and lawyer. Keynote title: “Breaking the Shackles of Oppression & Addressing Privilege: Rise through the Authenticity Principle.” Saturday Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. See more at: www.bhasinconsulting.com Eddie Moore, Jr., founder WPC, community activist and scholar. Keynote title: “White Privilege 101: Getting in on the Conversations,” Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. See more at: www.eddiemoorejr.com Shirley Cheechoo, Brock University Chancellor, actress and filmmaker. Keynote title: “My Road To Healing As A Residential School Warrior,” Saturday, Oct. 1 at 4:45 p.m.