by Jamil Bhatti
ISLAMABAD, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The 27-year-old Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is a platform with the potential to lead Asia to common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, a Pakistani expert has said.
Umar Farooq, professor of international relations at the Bahauddin Zakariya University of Pakistan, made the remarks ahead of the 5th CICA summit slated for June 14-15 in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan.
In his opinion, the CICA could help its members to jointly promote Asian security if they innovate security concepts and build new regional security cooperation architecture as called for by China at the last CICA summit held in May 2014 in Shanghai.
Asia is now facing challenges much more than before, but it is also the most promising and dynamic region, and is capable of solving its problems through the CICA platform and mechanism, the Pakistani professor told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"During last one decade, peace, development and win-win cooperation have appeared as the main trends in the region," he said, suggesting that for Asia, a favorable momentum has built up.
The positive progress will help tackle the challenges confronting Asia in areas ranging from security, economy, population, environment to food security and poverty, according to him.
On regional security, the professor said Asia appeared in the past five years "as the most vulnerable and terrorism-affected region in the world", but "major Asian countries, including Russia and China, expressed responsibility and maturity to solve the challenges" by improving security cooperation among them.
Farooq said the recent efforts by some countries to pursue unilateralism, isolationism and anti-globalization are among the major threats to the stability in Asia and the world at large.
Such efforts constitute a dangerous trend to benefit no one and can become a recipe for economic disaster at a great level, leading to global instability and even conflict, the professor said, citing historical cases triggering retaliatory trade measures and currency issues that eventually led to a conflict at a large scale.
With unity and cooperation within the CICA, he said, the Asian countries could tackle the multiple challenges successfully.
The CICA was launched in 1992 as a forum for dialogue and consultation on Asian security issues.
For it to continue to play an important and constructive role amid new challenges, China has proposed the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia, urging joint efforts and win-win cooperation.
In the eyes of Farooq, the CICA members should increase mutual trust, maintain continuous dialogue and exchanges, and share intelligence in their continued cooperation.
Apart from common concerns such as terrorism, extremism, and connectivity, Farooq deemed lack of trade within Asia as another major common concern that should be addressed at the upcoming CICA summit.
The Pakistani professor noted that peace and development are two intertwined aspects, and they need to be pursued simultaneously so as to ensure sustained win-win cooperation.
The surge of anti-globalization in some countries, he said, is particularly an issue CICA must discuss and work out a counter strategy.
Farooq expressed his belief that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will be a solution, describing it as a comprehensive package and blueprint, which has proven its worth with a solid prospect for development and stability.