CONVERSATION: Pakistan a ‘Soft State With a Very Strong Society’

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“Pakistan required strong rule of law and stronger institutions”

Pakistan is a land of opportunities with an unprecedented talent pool to rise and emerge as one of the most developed countries of the world, despite the challenges confronting its course, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said at the the inaugural session of a 2-day National Seminar titled “Kaleidoscope: 75 Years of Pakistan” organized by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) in Islamabad. The event featured discussions on Pakistan’s history, internal challenges, non-traditional challenges, foreign policy issues, economy and the media.

The Senator highlighted that some of the major issues still lingering on were education with a literacy rate of 58 per cent that needed to improve; political instability which was a precursor to several other challenges, and lastly foreign policy adventures which had historically proven rather costly for the country and its people. “Besides these challenges and many others, Pakistan was a country that reflected a dichotomy of a soft state but a very strong society.” He added that “our leaders had significantly learnt from the mistakes committed in the past while our people were a resilient nation, refusing to give in to the test of time.”

Dr. Yaqoob Khan Bangash, Fulbright Fellow at Harvard University, while reflecting on the forthcoming years, asserted that the biggest challenge confronting Pakistan at present were weak institutions and hence, not everything could be entirely blamed on the uncertainties within the political system. He said that democracy and investment in the democratic culture were imperative for Pakistan to move forward and compete with the world. “While corruption was an easy target to blame for all the ills, a bright future for this great country only required strong rule of law and stronger institutions to ensure their implementation instead of mere infatuation with the eradication of corruption.”

Dr. Maj. Gen. Raza Muhammad, President Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) said that Pakistan was among the most resilient countries across the globe to be standing tall despite having endured endless challenges including the menace of terrorism.

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Illustration by Irshad Salim (Jun. 2021)

Honorary contributors to DesPardes: Ajaz Ahmed, Ammar Jafri, Anwar Abbas, Arif Mirza, Aziz Ahmed, Bawar Tawfik, Dr. Razzak Ladha, G. R. Baloch, Jamil Usman, Jawed Ahmed, Ishaq Saqi, Khalid Sharif, Masroor Ali, Md. Ahmed, Md. Najibullah, Shahbaz Ali, Shahid Nayeem, Syed Hamza Gilani