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LKI hosted a 21-member delegation from the National Defence University, Islamabad, Pakistan (NDU) for a round table discussion, on 17 April 2018. The delegation was headed by Major General Fayyaz Hussain Shah, Chief Instructor of the Faculty of Security Studies at NDU, and included high ranking officials from the Pakistan military.
Major General Fayyaz Hussian Shah made remarks on behalf of the delegation, and LKI’s Adam Collins and Malinda Meegoda spoke on “Economic and Security Challenges in South Asia: A Sri Lankan Perspective.” The discussion was moderated by Anishka De Zylva, Research Associate at LKI.
Major General Shah reinforced the interconnectedness of geopolitics, economics, and security issues in the region. Members of the delegation discussed with LKI how Sri Lanka and Pakistan, as developing states, could address the conditionality that accompanies financial assistance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Mr. Collins spoke on Sri Lanka’s economic agenda in the region. He considered the history of Sri Lanka’s external economic links, the government’s current external economic strategy, and opportunities and challenges for the future. He highlighted that the current government’s economic strategy has two key aims: increasing foreign direct investments (FDI) and the promotion of exports.
Mr. Meegoda’s presentation focused on Sri Lankan perspectives on non-traditional security threats in South Asia. He spoke on the costs of climate change, and major implications of climate change in the region and Sri Lanka. He recommended a holistic strategy that does not separate diplomacy, development, and defence. He also emphasised the importance of cooperation of SAARC countries on climate issues. In response, the delegation and LKI speakers discussed possible avenues of cooperation between Sri Lanka and Pakistan on climate change and energy security.