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Islamabad

September 17, 2017

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‘Raabta’ a public diplomacy initiative

‘Raabta’ a public diplomacy initiative

Islamabad

Adding another feather to its cap of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the Serena Hotel, Islamabad launched the public diplomacy initiative, ‘Raabta’ - with the tag line, ‘Smart, inclusive dialogue will lead the world to a sustainable future’ - at the Shish Mahal Hall Thursday evening.

Hosted by CEO Aziz Boolani, the event was attended by members of civil society; diplomats; media persons and a few university students - hopefully the future movers and shakers of Pakistan! The keynote speaker was High Commissioner of Great Britain, Thomas Drew CMG; the panellists for discussion and answering questions included DG. Walled City of Lahore, Kamran Lashari; Country Director World Bank, Patchamithu Ilangowan and President CEO Jazz Mobilink, Aamir Ibrahim. Journalist /Youth Development Activist, Sidra Iqbal monitored the discussion and also spoke on the occasion. MC for the evening was Sania Haroon.  

The initiative was launched in a grand manner with videos of songs dedicated to the fabulous Northern Areas of Pakistan screened each side of the stage; beautifully laid tables and a four course dinner. After a ‘meet and greet’ period in which the host, his wife and senior members of the hotel participated in welcoming the guests, the proceedings began on schedule with the host thanking everyone for accepting his invitation and giving a brief account of the initiatives taken by the Serena Hotel to their CSR commitment in the fields of sports; culture and adventure, in collaboration with the leading lights in these activities. Adding that it was time to engage with the public on issues that mattered the most in leading Pakistan to a bright and prosperous future – education; health; jobs; good leadership; commitment to serving the country etc: he said the initiative would help to pinpoint the problems we faced and then try to find solutions to them through discussion and dialogue with stake holders as well as the public in general. “We believe in sharing,” he said and concluded by thanking his team without whose help none of it would be possible.

He was followed by Sidra Iqbal presenting her succinct views; Thomas Drew reading his thoughts on the past and his perception of the future of Pakistan (positive) followed by the three panellists who responded to questions put by the moderator, each of them speaking according to the subject of their expertise such as economics; culture; professions and job opportunities etc:  It’s not possible to repeat their views but needless to say the main point each of them stressed was the value of a really good education that allows one to think for themselves, ultimately leading to a better understanding of people and of the diverse culture of the country; the complexities of human behaviour; a desire to improve what is not right and to help those who are in need of it, casting aside prejudices and personal beliefs.

Guests were of the opinion that launching the initiative was a good step in the right direction and hoped it would deliver on the pledges that were made and the advice given by the experts. This would ensure in some small way that the country was heading in the right direction and the creation of a more tolerant and just society. 

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