Regional Director (Southeast Asia) Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Dr Ellino Zeino has said that Afghanistan has been and still is the hub and link between South and Central Asia. She was addressing a second-day international conference organized by the Punjab University (PU) Department of History & Pakistan Studies in collaboration with KAS Germany. On this occasion, the Chairman Department of History Prof Dr Mahboob Hussain, Matthew McCartney, Rasul Bakhsh Rais, researchers and a large number of students were present.
In her address, Dr Ellino Zeino thanked Dr Mahboob Hussain and all the helping hands that made this event possible. She said they had chosen the theme ‘South & Central Asia Re-Connected’ and she believes in time of the recent US and NATO withdrawal, the agency, ownership and responsibility for peace and prosperity and it should and will shift to the regional countries and societies. She said that Konard Adenauer Foundation strives to build dialogue and bridges in our more than 100 offices and representations around the world.
Dr Zeino said they have been active in Pakistan in the past and are now in the process of reopening their office in Pakistan. She said that regional connectivity and dialogue as well as sustainable development will be at the center of their activities. In her previous position as head of the Afghanistan office in Kabul, she experienced the importance of regional dialogue to forge a regional consensus on the basic principles for good neighborly relations.
She said that after decades of war and conflict, relations with Afghanistan and its neighbors have become fully securitized. Dr Zeino said that remembering the joint civilizational past of knowledge and culture as well as fostering people-to-people relations could be a way forward for Afghanistan and its neighbors in South and Central Asia. She said South & Central Asia is sometimes called ‘The Heart of Asia’ and it is a former center of knowledge, culture, and learning.
She also thanked Dr Iftikhar Haider Malik, Dr Mathew Mccartney, Dr Muhammad Waseem, Dr Tarim Rehman, Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Ambassador Manzoor Ahmad Khan, Dr Rasool Baksh Rais, Dr Moonis Ahmar, Dr Shabir Ahmad Khan, Dr Muhammad Shah Hanifi for presented their work in the conference. The conference will be concluded today in which Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed will participate as chief guest.