KARACHI:Center for Peace, Security and Development Studies (CPSD), organized an international seminar on “Strategic Coercion: Global Dynamics and South Asia” in Karachi.

Chairman Dadabhoy Foundation Abdullah Dadabhoy graced the event as the chief guest while a number of speakers deliberated on different dimension of the subject.

President CPSD, Lt General (Retd) Agha M Umer Farooq, in his inaugural address, highlighted that nations around the globe are being coerced through sysnchornized application of economic, diplomatic, political, psychological, information, intelligence, technological and selective military tools.

While commenting on recent India-Pakistan standoff, he maintained that given the imbalance in conventional means, limited war may not remain limited for long.

Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director Woodrow Wilson Center USA, said that under President Trump, USA is continuing to have major role in international institutions like IMF and World Bank. He further said that the USA has used its leverage within IMF to restrict loans to Pakistan.

Maxim Shepovalenko, Deputy Director Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) Russia, said that today the prime goal of warfare is to alert the system of values, gain control of the adversary state’s national policy, cause distress to civilian population, and undermine the law and order.

Ambassador Vice Admiral Khan Hashim Bin Saddique highlighted that perception management and psychological tools have become crucial means to strategic coercion.

In this respect role of media in tandem with social media is critical to induce cognitive, behavioral, and attitude change, he said.

Dr. Ashfaq Hassan Khan, Dean NUST Islamabad said that economic coercion and sabotage instruments have been successfully used as hybrid warfare instruments to make the governments unpopular in the masses. He further highlighted Pakistan is in the midst of hybrid warfare for the last one decade but the peace of war accelerated during the last five years.

During the closing season, chief guest Abdullah Dadabhoy said that the advent of CPEC and the growing nexus between USA and India have unveiled numerous challenges and opportunities for Pakistan.

While talking about Indo-Pakistan relations in the aftermath of Pulwama attack, he maintained that India’s reaction to Pulwana incident was irrational while Pakistan responded with peace gestures, which manifests country’s commitment for the regional peace.

He emphasized that any type of escalation of conflicts between India and Pakistan will not only undermine the socio-economic progress of both countries but also de-stabilize the region.

The event was attended by diplomats, government officials, academics, business community and students.