South Asia in Focus: Pune International Centre Seminar Explores Challenges and Opportunities

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Pune, 20th December 2023: The Pune International Centre (PIC) hosted a memorial event on 18-19 December to commemorate the solemn occasion of second death anniversary of Late Gen Bipin Rawat, the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of Indian Armed Forces.

The memorial event was conducted in the form of a seminar with the theme, ‘Neighbourhood Vishwamitra : The Way Forward’ as part of Pune International Centre’s ‘Neighbourhood Vishwamitra’ series. This seminar would seek to highlight our collective efforts to strengthen neighbourhood ties between countries in South Asia and discuss issues, challenges and the way forward towards this objective. The seminar was jointly organised by Headquarters Southern Command and Pune International Centre at Hotel Pride, Pune.

The event was attended by Tarini Rawat, daughter of Late Gen Bipin Rawat.

Lt Gen Ajai Kumar Singh, Army Commander Southern Command in his opening address paid rich tributes to Late Gen Rawat. The Army Commander in his welcome address, highlighted India’s emergence as a trustworthy friend. He emphasised the strong social and economic bond between all it’s neighbouring countries.

Former ambassador Gautam Bambawale, Trustee Pune International Centre (PIC), emphasised that the region showcases a cross spectrum of cooperation with occasional friction points. Geopolitical shifts, economic cooperation and security concerns contribute to an intricate web of India’s neighbourhood relations.

A number of eminent speakers such as Lt Gen Pawan Pande (Retd), Former Vice Chief of Nepal Army, Rear Admiral ASMA Awal (Retd) from Bangladesh and Col Nalin Herath, Dir Media, Spokesperson, Ministry of Defence and Dir Gen Institute of National Security Studies, Sri Lanka also expressed their views on the South Asia Issues, Challenges and Opportunities.

The seminar was attended by academicians, scholars and luminaries from various fields. Amb Vijay Kelkar, Former Foreign Secretary and trustee of Pune International Centre (PIC) gave the concluding remarks.

Lt Gen Manjit Kumar, Chief of Staff, Southern Command and Lt Gen Shammi Mehta (Retired) Presented mementos to Tarini Rawat.