Annual Meeting of IPS-National Academic Council 2017-18Institute of Policy Studies
IPS’ National Academic Council expresses concern on friction among state institutions
Calling national institutions the pillars upon which the affairs of state rely and run, members of IPS’ National Academic Council (NAC) have showed concern on the ongoing friction among state institutions of Pakistan and termed it damaging for the nation.
It is pertinent to mention here that NAC is an assembly of eminent experts, intellectuals, scholars and academicians belonging to diverse range of disciplines and having nationwide representation, brought together by Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad to steers its research program that is ultimately aimed at facilitating good governance and meaningful policymaking in the country and safeguarding national interests.
Held on October 7, 2017, the meeting – which was addressed via audio link by Professor Khurshid Ahmad, former senator and chairman IPS, and Fasih Uddin, former chief economist, Planning Commission of Pakistan – was attended by Saeed Ahmed Qureshi, former deputy chairman, Planning Commission, Amb. (r) Shamshad Ahmad Khan, former secretary foreign affairs, Masud Daher, former federal secretary and ex-chairman, National Tariff Commission, Riyazul Haque, former additional secretary, Mirza Hamid Hasan, former secretar water and power, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, chairman, Ruet-e-Hilal Committee and president, Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Pakistan, Maulana Zahid ul Rashdi, secretary general, Pakistan Shariat Council, Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad, rector, University of Management & Technology (UMT), Lahore, Professor Dr Anis Ahmad, vice chancellor, Riphah International University, Air Cdr (r) Khalid Iqbal, and Executive President IPS Khalid Rahman.
Professor Khurshid, while urging in his speech to find ways to foster and bolster national unity, said that Pakistan was founded as a result of a democratic struggle and it was still very much the way to take the country forward. He said that Pakistan was faced with stern challenges today and finding a way out of these crisis was only possible when the individuals as well as institutions play their part and make concerted efforts in this regard.
He said that while making national decisions and devising policies, all stakeholders should keep the national interests upfront as policies should be made with comprehension of ground realties and understanding of one’s objective and not in duress.
The veteran scholar pointed protection of Pakistan’s ideological identity, safeguarding of its independence, self-reliance and public welfare as some of the areas around which the framework of national policies should be formed.
Shamshad, Hasan, Rashdi and Iqbal echoed each other’s opinion upon the fragility of national institutions urging for strengthening of political, domestic and institutional systems through capacity building and infusion of inter-government harmony to ensure stability.
Rashdi and Iqbal, along wth Dr Anis, also showed concerns regarding national segmentations of numerous sorts including social, regional, political, cultural and sectarian divide. They urged for taking measures to instill harmony among these different factions of the nation.
Qureshi and Riyazul Haque, while deliberating on different matters of state, were critical of the current economic policies adopted by Pakistan with Qureshi pressing for revision of free trade agreements the country has signed off late. He was of the opinon that such agreements are useful for a country only when there exists some sort of trade balance among the concerned parties.
Fasih Uddin and Murad stressed on the need of taking measures for developing homegrown scientists – both in the fields of social and technological sciences – by allocation of sufficient funds and resources, if we are to find solutions to our problems indigenously.
Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman highlighted the negative role of media that only paints of a picture of despair and gloom, advising it to rather play a productive role that fosters nation-building and promotes the national narratives.
He also directed attention towards the fast declining moral standards of society – a matter that was also pointed by Professor Khurshid earlier – stating that the reflection of this downfall could easily be seen in the areas like affairs of state and the role that the country’s media is playing.
The scholars saw an urgent need of taking on-board likeminded organizations as well as individuals from different segments of society in an attempt to make concerted efforts to raise the ethical and moral standards in the country.