Islamabad, 12 January 2023 (TDI):  The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) held a dialogue session with ASEAN Committee in Islamabad (ACI), led by Nguyen Tien Phong, Ambassador of Vietnam and Chairman of ACI.

ACI comprises Ambassadors/High Commissioners and Heads of Mission of ASEAN Members based in Islamabad. Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, Director-General ISSI, led the ISSI side.

In his remarks, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood stated that Pakistan recognized the ASEAN ‘miracle’ that had contributed immensely to peace, regional economic integration, and prosperity through effective regional cooperation in Southeast Asia.

He added that Pakistan’s desire to forge a closer relationship with ASEAN was driven by its ‘Vision East Asia’ policy as well as the imperatives of geo-economics. Ambassador Sohail Mahmood stressed that a deeper and elevated Pakistan-ASEAN partnership was in the mutual benefit of both sides.

The ISSI-ACI dialogue focused on exploring avenues for further deepening cordial relations between Pakistan and ASEAN members, bilaterally as well as on the institutional platform of ASEAN. Both sides exchanged views on the current state of Pakistan-ASEAN cooperation. They underlined the need to enhance linkages between business communities and academic institutions/think tanks across ASEAN member states.

The ACI Chairman and other members shared valuable suggestions on strengthening overall collaboration between the two sides, including through increased people-to-people exchanges. It was also agreed that ISSI-ACI collaboration would be utilized to raise awareness about the potential of the Pakistan-ASEAN partnership and ways to realize it optimally.

Besides the Chairman, the ACI delegation included H.E. Mr. Adam M. Tugio, Ambassador of Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Chakkrid Krachaiwong, Ambassador of Thailand; H.E. Mr. U Win Myint, Ambassador of Myanmar; Ms. Maria Agnes M. Cervantes, Charge d’ Affaires of Philippines; Mr. Abdul Mubdi Osman, Acting High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam; and Mr. Nor Azuan Haji Ayub, Charge d’ Affaires of Malaysia.

Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BoG ISSI, and Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director China-Pakistan Study Center, also spoke occasionally.