Published On: Fri, Mar 28th, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

Denmark, Pakistan join hands for doing joint research project on counter-insurgency: Admiral Nils Wang

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ISLAMABAD: Commandant of the Royal Danish Defense College, Rear Admiral Nils Wang on Thursday said Denmark and Pakistan were working together on a joint research project on counter-insurgency for bringing out a publication by end of this year.

The research project is being carried out with the cooperation between National Defense University (NDU) and Dany Defense Academy, because a partnership with NDU can “give us a perspective of security” in the region, especially in the post 2014 pullout of the NATO troops from Afghanistan, he told before his departure to Denmark on the conclusion of his 2-day visit to Islamabad.

During his visit from March 25-26, he met with the head of the NDU and other leading experts of the institution and held discussion with them on the research project and on overall regional security situation.

He said his visit was a follow-up trip to a research programme which was initiated by both institutions last year. This joint venture includes also exchange proggramme for researchers from the two institutions

The focus of the discussion was the whole situation in post-2014 in this region in the backdrop of the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

“Of course, we also discussed concrete research areas where we can mutually benefit from a good relationship and we have a present project going on right now dealing with counter-insurgency and that is a very concrete subject that we have also discussed,” said Nils Wang.

He said Denmark had been engaged in Afghanistan almost ten years now and “if you really want to understand the security dynamics in this whole region, you need to look broader than just Afghanistan.”

Giving his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan following drawdown of the U.S. troops, he said “I don’t really think that any one can say for sure what will happen and definitely not me.” However, he said it was very important to extend financial support to Afghanistan to maintain the structure that had been built there over the years.

But nobody can tell for sure whether it is possible to maintain the focus and interest of the Western society and “I think that is one of the very very essential areas where everybody has to see what happens and everybody holds their breath and hopes for the best,” he said.

To another question, Nils Wang said it was very important that all neighbours of Afghanistan support the peace process for stability of that country. He hoped that divergence of interests, all the regional actors would support peace efforts in Afghanistan because “everybody has to gain from the stability in the region.”

“The Denmark is supporting the same wish for peace and stability in the region and I am also sure that we would support any initiative also to support Danish commerce in Pakistan in order, to indirect way, to try and create some support for the economy, of Pakistan.”

On Pakistan-EU strategic dialogue which concluded in Brussels on Tuesday, he said that talks and dialogue was the prerequisite for any development.

“I think the EU is very very interested partner also for this region and Denmark is the part of the EU. And of course, some time it is better to have a dialogue with a group of countries so that you can actually create more volume in your support, therefore I think it is important and it is a good start.”

When asked on the possibilities of cooperation between Denmark and Pakistan on protection of environment, he said, helping Danish companies in settling down in Pakistan for doing their business “will be the ideal way of helping Pakistan in order to help building up better trade, better commerce and in that way generate a better economy. I think that is much more important for Pakistan than direct support in form of money.”

When he was asked what was his advice to Danish companies on considering Pakistan as their next destination of investment, the admiral said “I think that Denmark has a lot expertise” and Danish companies can be helpful to Pakistan.

“Even though I am not in the field of commerce and trade, my recommendations if I ever have an opportunity to talk with business people in Denmark, I would say that for some companies Pakistan is an ideal market to investigate for doing business,” he said.