A Gathering of Asian Powers

25 November 2012 | 13:14 Code : 1909553 Review General category
An essay by Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian, Iran’s former ambassador to Pakistan, on the issue of the D8 Summit in Islamabad
A Gathering of Asian Powers


Holding the D8 Summit in Pakistan can be analyzed with two questions. The first question is: To what extent are the formation of regional institutes and regional convergence basically efficient and useful? The second question is: What are the impacts of holding this summit in Pakistan on the status of this country?

On the first level and in response to the first question, it must be said that it seems that the time for regional convergence has basically arrived and, through this measure, cooperation in the security and development areas must also be achieved. Certainly, considering the capacities that exist in the D8 group as the eight most important countries of Asia, and the fact that this group holds the highest population in the world with the most capacities to produce energy, this group can play an effective role in regional convergence, for it holds both the consumption and the production markets.

Therefore, this summit is an important event. Political, security, and economic issues will be discussed at this summit. It has been heard that officials from Iran, Egypt, and Turkey might meet in the sidelines of this summit and exchange their views on the issue of Syria. Considering the fact that, besides the issue of Gaza, the issue of Syria is one of important crises of the present time, this trilateral meeting can be effective in finding a solution for this crisis. Of course, this report has not been confirmed but it has been repeated by the media. It seems that before reaching extra-regional cooperation, regional cooperation is needed, the most prominent of which is the D8 group.

 In response to the second question, it can be said that Hina Rabbani, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, who is one of the politicians of the new and young generation of this country, has been given the responsibility, by the government, of holding this summit. This shows that special attention is paid to Mrs. Rabbani. According to her statement, the presence of the leaders of Iran, Egypt, and Turkey is certain, but the countries of eastern Asia will possibly participate in levels other than the heads of state. Nevertheless, it can be said that holding this summit, in general, is significant for Pakistan. But since Pakistan is passing through a transitional period and all the assessments based on existing laws and regulations show that, perhaps in 2013, many of the officials who work in the administration, the judiciary, and the army will not be present in the power structure of this country and new people will probably enter Pakistan’s power scene, one can therefore conclude that Pakistan, as a country, will gain the most benefit from holding this summit, not the officials who hold power today. Considering the fact that Pakistan is confronted with the issue of insecurity on a weekly basis, holding such a summit in Islamabad, which is one of the most important summits in Asia, will be a political gain for Pakistan.

Furthermore, it is possible that this summit would result in the improvement of bilateral relations between the participating countries. Iran and Pakistan can use this opportunity to find ways to promote their economic relations and discuss security agreements. Of course, no particular issue, except the gas pipeline, has been proposed in this regard. Besides, the presence of Mr. Morsi can elevate the reputation of this summit. There are numerous issues in Pakistan-Egypt relations that can be discussed and agreements could be reached. It is possible that Islamabad and Cairo would not be able to reach common points and agree on economic issues, but they can certainly use each other's capacities in political issues.

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