Intellectuals & scholars call for continuity of policies for progress

Khursheed Kasuri for a professional Planning Commission to guide the process of development

national public forum monthly meeting

Former Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and intellectual Mian Khursheed Mahmood Kasuri has said that Pakistan is in dire need of a professional Planning Commission like the one we had in the 1960s and 1970s and a long-term strategy to address the prevailing economic, social and political crises. He said there was a time when developing countries that have become developed now envied our Planning Commission and sought to establish similar institutions to turbo-charge their economic development. He said that their representatives would come to Pakistan to study the model and working of the Planning Commission. He however added with a deep sense of regret that with time, our Commission has lost its efficacy, credibility and professionalism.

Mian Khursheed Mahmood Kasuri expressed these views while addressing a monthly meeting of National Public Forum at Gymkhana Club Lahore. Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, who is Chairman of National Public Forum, welcomed former Minister Khursheed Kasuri, Sardar Nusrallah Dareshak and other guests.

The former Federal Minister said that even a shop cannot run without planning, leave alone a country of 220 million people. He said that Pakistan has been walking into crises repeatedly because of the lack of continuity of policies. He said that it does not happen anywhere in the world that the change of government leads to change in the policies of the state. He said that when policies are changed suddenly, it stops the process of development and erodes the confidence of foreign investors.

Chairman National Public Forum Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo said that Pakistan is passing through difficult economic times. He said that with the current spate of price hikes, it has become virtually impossible for the common man to make his both ends meet. He emphasized the need for the initiation of national dialogue to steer the country out of multifarious crises. He said that technocrats and the experts of different fields can also be included in the national dialogue to seek their input.

The host of the monthly meeting of National Public Forum was PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur. He thanked all the esteemed guests for making time to attend the meeting and sharing their views on the current state of the nation.

Speaking on the occasion, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that when nations face crises, it is the public intellectuals and thinkers who show the light at the end of the tunnel and provide leadership, adding that they are the ones who take the nation to light. He said that the National Public Forum consists of people from various walks of life who have unique and distinguished perspectives. He said that the Forum is playing its role by recommending policy actions and guidelines to address the challenges.

At the end of the meeting, the participants endorsed the proposal of Mian Khursheed Mahmood Kasuri that the nation needs a professional Planning Commission. Such a Commission should have the responsibility of formulating policies to address the water shortage challenge, formulate educational policy in line with the contemporary requirements, suggest ways for the agricultural sector, and introduce policies for the establishment of good governance in the country. It should also be mandated with the duty to ensure the implementation of policies formulated with consensus among the stakeholders.

The meeting of the National Public Forum was attended by Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, Irshad Arif, Sohail Warraich, Amjad Warraich, Mubashir Luqman, Noshad Ali, Mian Habeeb, Khalid Arabi, Dr Amanullah Malik, Anwar Hussain Samra, Khawar Saleem Azhar, Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, Hamayon Saleem, Nawabzada Mazhar Ali Khan, Khalid Mahmood Khalid, Sarfraz Ahmad Warraich, Javed Farooqi, and Noorullah Siddiqui.

national public forum monthly meeting