HSS Workshop on European Democracies in Pakistan - Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS
The Department of Humanities & Social Sciences at LUMS in collaboration with Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad conducted an International Workshop Series titled, “European Democracy and Integration Revisited” on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at LUMS.
Dr. Ali Usman Qasmi, Assistant Professor of History, and Asma Faiz, Teaching Fellow at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS) were the key organisers of talk. Amongst others, H.E. Philippe Thiebaud, French Ambassador to Pakistan; H.E. Dr. Cyrill Nunn, German Ambassador to Pakistan; Claudia Wiensner, Marie Cuire Research Fellow at the Finnish Research Centre in Political Thought and Conceptual Change; Thierry Schwarz, Head of ASEF’s Intellectual Exchange Department; Ambassador (Rtd) Iqbal Ahmed Khan; Ambassador (Rtd) Shaharyar M. Khan; Dr. Waseem, LUMS faculty and Sylvie Jacquot- Barrault, Maitre de Conferences in public law at the faculty Jean Monnet of the University of Paris-Sud France were present. The session was held to discuss how Pakistan can draw lessons from the European Union Model to implement democracy effectively and collaborate strategically with its neighbouring countries towards a much better economic future. The session began with a welcome note from LUMS Vice Chancellor, Dr. Adil Najam who thanked everybody for their presence and expressed his desire of having more foreign students from all across the globe on exchange programmes at LUMS.
During the first leg of the session, H.E. Philippe Thiebaud, French Ambassador to Pakistan and H.E. Dr. Cyrill Nunn, German Ambassador to Pakistan discussed their perspectives on Pakistan’s strategic significance to its neighbouring economic giants – India and China – and how Pakistan and India need to compare their situation with that of Germany and France back in 1960s, when they had recently moved out of a series of wars against each other. It was highlighted how these two countries were able to move forward, to reach a compromise despite all their differences against each other. It was agreed that it was nonetheless a revolving reconciliation process, which took its time to reach a level which Germany and France now enjoy – of being amongst the strongest economies of the world.
During the discussion, another very important point about the continuity of interaction and dialogue was raised. It was explained that in order to generate views and concerns, Pakistan needs to be part of a global framework similar to that of European Union (EU) where all countries of Asia can be part of the framework to reach consensus on their common issues. Referring to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as a framework similar to that of EU, it was described as “a dead structure” which needs to come back to life, with full participation of all Asian countries.
It was specifically emphasised that in order to better the future processes, Pakistan should be able to study EU model as a case study.
Before the second leg of the session on challenges of European Integration, question- answer session was held.