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Relations with India, gender equality stressed at ‘talks by engro’ event in IBA

  • IBA Executive Director says Pakistan’s situation needs massive improvement
Published November 26, 2022
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KARACHI: Ranked second-worst in the world in terms of gender parity and being at loggerheads with neighbouring India, Pakistan must resolve these two issues for its economy to prosper, a moot was told on Friday.

The event was held under the banner ‘talks at engro’ and organised by the company at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi on expectations of ‘The Next 75 years’. Renowned professionals from different industries spoke on the occasion.

Most speakers expressed hope on Pakistan’s prospects over the next 75 years.

However, economist and IBA Executive Director Dr Akbar Zaidi said Pakistan needs a thorough self-assessment.

“Pakistan can be the next Sudan,” Zaidi said, stressing that Pakistan’s situation has gradually deteriorated since the 1990s.

“We have actually dropped in the Human Development Index (HDI). We are the second-worst country in terms of gender parity,” he said.

He said that in the HDI ranking of 189 countries, Pakistan has slipped from 154th position to 161st.

Pakistan is also the second-worst country in terms of gender parity, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

“What is the purpose of a nuclear weapon when we treat our women like this?”

He added that if Pakistan continues to ignore the plight of women who make up half the country, the country’s future would remain bleak.

The academic added that Pakistan must improve its relations with neighbouring countries.

Conceptual poverty of foreign policy

He lamented that it is only in the case of India and Pakistan that trade remains suspended while it happens nowhere else despite similar rivalries. He added that Pakistan is also dictated, due to its immense debt burden, into not buying oil from Iran.

Meanwhile, former finance minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar, who was not present at the event but delivered his address through a recording, said the situation has not been ideal but things have gradually been improving in Pakistan.

He said for the first time in Pakistan’s history two consecutive civilian governments were formed after elections.

He added that there is a need for improvement in judicial matters, but the situation is better than a few decades ago.

Meanwhile, talking about his profession, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja said Pakistan has gradually been putting a system in place that is rendering results.

He expressed confidence in Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam for his leadership skills while adding that he was still going through a learning process.

Similarly, Ghias Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Engro Corporation, cited examples of impressive Pakistanis such as SIUT’s Dr Adeeb Rizvi, social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, and others for achieving impressive milestones and feats for the country.

“Don’t let lack of resources define what you can do,” said Ghias.

Oscar award-winning director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, footballer and social entrepreneur Karishma Ali and standup comedian Shehzad Ghias also spoke on the occasion.


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