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ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a conference while discussing the key challenges Pakistan is facing across various sectors have stressed the need for tailoring meaningful, sustainable development, and a theme-wise reform agenda ensuring implementation.

Speaking at the “Third Think Tank Moot” organised by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), they said Pakistan, as a nation steadfast in its commitment to overcoming economic and governance challenges, is poised to embark on a transformative journey towards sustainable national development.

They said that public engagement was crucial, as collective wisdom and diverse perspectives of people could lead to more inclusive and effective policies. Recognising the urgency of comprehensive reforms as the bedrock of progress, Pakistan sought to revitalise its economic outlook, enhance its business environment, and elevate its global trade standing, they maintained.

Participants emphasised that in today’s world, having ideas means having access to funds, extending to politics and governance. Financial resources are vital for driving positive change and addressing societal issues.

Contrary to common belief, smuggling is not the root cause of economic challenges in many countries; import tariffs often have a more significant impact. Recognising this distinction empowers policymakers to focus on the real issue and implement appropriate solutions.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Nadeemul Haque, vice chancellor (VC) PIDE said broad-based policy reforms with swift implementation were a must to steer the nation out of the ongoing multifaceted challenges. While acknowledging effective family planning, health, education, and social sector reforms, he said that as a nation the country should create a viable environment with equal opportunities for all to play their role in national building.

He said that instead of looking for public sector jobs, people should be encouraged to become entrepreneurs, informational technology experts, and financial and science experts. He also stressed the need for providing free and easy access to internet services, so that the masses could benefit from the ongoing global developments taking place worldwide.

Dr Shujaat Farooq, dean of PIDE, while highlighting the role of the think tank said it was a unique platform for esteemed partners and thought leaders to collectively address transformative and sustainable reforms.

The moot fosters the exchange of intellectual capital and actionable strategies, transcending individual efforts to leave a profound impact on policymaking. It will culminate in regular meet-ups, allowing each think tank the opportunity to present their agendas, engage in discussions, and forge a consensus on reform priorities.

The discussions at the event revolved around critical reform areas, with each think tank contributing insights and ideas enriched by innovative strategies and approaches. The PIDE’s researchers presented compelling briefings on “Catalyzing Inclusive Economic Growth via Structural Reforms” and “Optimizing Governance for Effective Policy Execution and Impact Evaluation.”

Inadequate eco-agendas within political parties pose a significant challenge. To address this, individuals passionate about environmental issues must be united. Forming teams of researchers and policymakers can uncover the root causes of environmental problems and develop comprehensive solutions.

Complex societal challenges cannot be solved by legislation alone. Educational reforms hold the potential to shape responsible citizens capable of tackling future challenges. Focusing on educational reforms that nurture critical thinking, empathy, and sustainability is the key.

In the digital age, access to information and resources is paramount. Prioritising free access to digital resources and ensuring affordable internet access can bridge the digital divide, unlocking opportunities for education, innovation, and economic growth.

In conclusion, recognising the availability of funds for ideas, understanding the impact of import tariffs, establishing a theme-wise reform agenda, encouraging public participation, addressing political parties’ shortcomings, focusing on educational reforms, and promoting free access to digital resources and the internet are crucial steps towards a more prosperous and sustainable future. Together, we can shape a better world for generations to come.

Following the culmination of the Third Think Tank Moot, a platform for fostering diverse perspectives and innovative ideas, participants from various sectors and backgrounds have united to address the pressing issues affecting Pakistan’s economic development. Under the overarching theme of “Collaborative Reforms for Prosperity,” participants have put forth a joint resolution encompassing key themes and actionable steps to guide the nation’s path towards sustainable growth and prosperity.

Representatives from numerous think tanks and universities in the federal capital, including SZABIST, SDPI, Policy Research Institute for Equitable Development (PRIED), IPS Institute of Policy Studies, POP Council, PSF Pakistan Science Foundation, QAU, Islamabad, IPRI, Customer Data Platform Institute, PRIME Institute organization, COPAIR Centre of Pakistan and International Relations, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, Institute of Policy Studies, Pakistan Economic Forum, Centre of Research and Security Studies, Wealth Pk, Independent News Pakistan, CGR Centre of Governance Research, PMAS Arid University, International Islamic University, and COMSATs University participated in the event.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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