Roundtable with Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, Iranian Scholar on Contemporary Issues

Mr Hadi Soleimanpur

Distinguished panelists, and worthy participants!

It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to our interaction with Iranian think tank IPIS.

As always, it is a matter of great pleasure and indeed privilege for Islamabad Policy Institute to host this event. I believe this interaction would help explain Pakistani perspective on some of the issues of critical importance for us to our Iranian colleagues.

We have divided today’s event into two parts. In the first part our panelists would deliberate on the challenge of extremism that is confronting Pakistani society, whereas in the second part we will hear from experts about CPEC in terms of what it holds for Pakistan. We are lucky to have with us today some of the most well known experts on these issues.

I would say both of these issues are extremely important for us. The problem of extremism has now existed in our society for at least few decades and while we dithered in our efforts to tackle it, the issue has become increasingly blatant over time.

On the other hand China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with investment in Pakistan’s infrastructure of almost $56 billion, is being seen as a game changer by not only affording an opportunity for stable growth within the country, but also helping with regional economic integration. CPEC, I must note, importantly acts as a vote of confidence in Pakistan’s future by changing the existing perceptions about Pakistan.

Our panelists would discuss both these issues in detail.

We will be interested in learning about the views and observations of our guests from Iran.

I look forward to an enlightened discussion on these issues.

I thank you all for sparing time to be here this afternoon.

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