INTERVIEW
 
Scholars say terrorism strained Pakistan’s ties with world
Dawn
April 9, 2009
ISLAMABAD - A three-day conference on Pakistan's international relations ended at the Quaid-i-Azam University on Wednesday with the recognition that terrorism had tarnished the country’s image and strained its relations.

This was evident to those who attended the conference as, except for a few, foreign scholars and analysts invited to the conference chose to stay away for fear of terrorist attacks.Those who attended described terrorism as violence against unarmed civilians for political motives. That has no moral or legal justification, they said.

Speakers on the last day of the conference, on “State of international relations in Pakistan,” organised by the Department of International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), dealt with the war on terror.

Speaking on “the war on terror: Pakistan’s perspective,” during the fourth session of the conference, Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed said that there was no moral or legal justification for killing unarmed civilians.

Dr Ishtiaq rejected the notion that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” saying it confused the goal of freedom with that of terrorism. He, however, disagreed with the western views of terrorism as according to him in the current wave of international terrorism, religion is largely acting as a means rather than an end.

“The tendency of mainstream Western scholars to deliberately evade the issue of state terrorism amonts to overlooking an important aspect of the subject,” Dr Ahmed said.

Earlier, on the second day of the conference on Tuesday, the scholars said international politics was dominated by multi-dimensional world orders, highlighting various theories about the state of international relations in South Asia.

While speaking on “state of international relations theory: macro picture,” during the first session, Prof Thomas J. Briesteker from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, said that most theoretical approaches to the study of international relations relied on rationalist assumptions, positivist methodologies and the search for a single basis for understanding international affairs.

QAU International Relations Department Chairman Prof (Dr) Tahir Amin said: “There exist multiple world orders which co-exist, overlap and interpenetrate each other.” He said that a great rapprochement was developing between India and the liberal world orders.

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