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January 13, 2020

Think Festival concludes: Extremism the biggest challenge, says Fawad Chaudhry

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January 13, 2020

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-N central leader Musadiq Malik said dialogue is very important to save the institutions.

Speaking in a session “Where is Pakistan heading in the next 10 years” in the two-day Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest here Sunday at Alhamra, he stressed on the dialogue between the institutions of Pakistan for the welfare of Pakistan and democracy. Dialogue is very important to save institutions, he said.

According to him, Chief of Army Staff was given extension after the bill was drafted and passed from parliament as the Supreme Court had directed. In the next 10 years, the most important thing is the preservation of human rights. Rights and freedom need to be discussed and bring forward a framework, he added.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the biggest challenge in Pakistan was to end religious bigotry and discrimination, we have increased Pakistan's information and technology budget by 600%. He said military dictator (Gen Ziaul Haq) built and organised seminaries in 1980's. "Why they couldn’t build universities MIT, Oxford etc at that time, he questioned. In my opinion, the biggest issue Pakistan faces is religious and social extremism. No society can progress under such circumstances. A society can only progress in a modern and liberal environment, he said. The decision of the Supreme Court is definitely final. We accept it. Extension of army chief favours Pakistan, he said while talking on the occasion.

Senator and PPPP central leader Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said, “We need not only to form legislations but also need to work to implement them.”

A session, “Internal Democracy in Political Parties” attracted the students, youths. They took keen interest in the session. The speakers said the intra-party election or democracy within the party would strengthen the democracy in Pakistan.

Afrasiyab Khattak said disruption made weak democracy in Pakistan. The families rule in the party as the parties’ heads face jails and after coming from jails process of the glorification starts. External forces also played pivotal role in disrupting the democracy in Pakistan. United State of America like democracy in USA while it likes undemocratic governments in Pakistan. Afrasiyab Khattak said political parties were becoming irrelevant because of their weaknesses.

Other social movements are rising to represent the masses today. Devolution of power to the lowest tier after the 18th amendment has not been completed yet.

Empowerment of local governments is vital for political participation of youths in Pakistan, said Farhatullah Babar, Secretary General of PPPP. Lack of discussion in rank and file of political parties on important issues alienates them, said he while talking in the session.

Ban on student unions is a hurdle to promoting democratic culture in the country and nurturing future democratic leadership, said Hamid Khan answering a question asked by the audience on the occasion. Decision making in political parties should flow from the bottom to the top to truly represent the will of the workers, he added.

The two-day Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest attracted local as well international speakers, including politicians, economists, analysts, journalists, musicians and many others.

The series of events, including seminars, discussions, exhibitions and musical performances were held on politics, economy, journalism, art, culture and other topics.