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Pakistan Remains the Land of Opportunities, says Mushahid Hussain Sayed

Islamabad: Creation of Pakistan was an achievement that was unbelievable for many and yet after 75 long years of independence, Pakistan was a land of opportunities with an unprecedented talent to rise and emerge as one of the most developed countries of the world, despite the challenges confronting its course, said Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed. He was addressing the inaugural session of a 2-day National Seminar titled “Kaleidoscope: 75 Years of Pakistan” organized by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS). The event featured discussions on Pakistan’s history, internal challenges, non-traditional challenges, foreign policy issues, economy and media. Senator Mushahid said that 75 years into independence were a watershed moment to reflect on the series of challenges impending the country’s path to growth and development. Some of the major issues still lingering on he added, 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. Despite these challenges and many others, Pakistan was a country that reflected a dichotomy of a soft state but a very strong society, said Senator Mushahid. He added that our leaders had significantly learnt from the mistakes committed in the past while our people were a resistant nation, refusing to give in 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 eradication of corruption, he said. Ambassador Dr. Major General Raza Muhammad, President Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) said that Pakistan was amongst the most resilient countries across the globe to be standing tall despite having endured endless challenges including the menace of terrorism. He expressed his hopes for a bright future of Pakistan with its youth leading from the front.

Dr Tughral Yamin, Associate Dean Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS) at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) highlighted the relevance of geo-strategy in Pakistan’s foreign policy. He was of the opinion that the foreign policy had always been a victim of bloc politics and that the country’s alignment with distinct blocs had proven detrimental to its internal peace. However, he added that Pakistan was a strong and resilient country which had always stood up to all the stringent challenges. The contemporary challenges could be resolved by making Pakistan a hub of education and industry, he said.

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