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On 24 April 2017, the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI) hosted an eighteen member delegation from the National Defence University (NDU) of Pakistan for a discussion on current strategic issues.
The delegation was led by Commodore Shahid Sohail Rao and comprised senior officers from Pakistan’s Armed Forces and Civil Services, as well as officers from Germany and Nepal.
LKI’s Research Fellow, Barana Waidyatilake, presented on how China’s Belt and Road Initiative could strengthen the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). He pointed out that the accession of India and Pakistan to the SCO presents a challenge to the organisation, by bringing South Asian strategic concerns into a hitherto Central Asia-focused forum. However, this challenge can be met by focusing cooperation around the Belt and Road, an economic programme that seeks to integrate Central Asia with South Asia.
The discussions following the presentation focused on security issues and policy/strategy formulation in relation to the Belt and Road Initiative.