US (US sees potential in Pakistan to be Next Columbia/Indonesia: opines CSIS

Islamabad: “Pakistan has all the necessary ingredients to be the next Colombia or Indonesia,” said Daniel F. Runde from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

He was speaking at a seminar organized by NUST Global Think Tank Network (GTTN) in collaboration with the CSIS, a premier Washington-based think tank. Distinguished citizens, diplomats, bureaucrats, academics, researchers and students attended the event on “The US-led International Developments and Effects on Pakistan and the Region”. Senior Fellow at GTTN, Humayun Gauhar moderated the session.

Runde pointed out that Pakistan is a significant South Asian country with massive urbanization trends and sixty percent population under thirty, which is a healthy indicator of demographic productivity. Pragmatic decisions of the Pakistani government will change country’s fate, bring political stability and give a fillip to the economy. The Pakistani diaspora in the U.S. must also be mobilised in order to optimise their presence in the U.S. and strengthen Pakistan’s image as an emerging country.

Advisor NUST and President GTTN, emphasized that sustainable economic development was crucial for Pakistan’s rise. He emphasized the need of innovation-based higher learning in Pakistan and explained NUST’s contribution through its knowledge ecosystem. He highlighted GTTN’s goals and efforts in furnishing viable policy options for issues of national, regional and global importance. He apprised the audience that NUST National Science and Technology Park had won the official candidacy for hosting the 34th International Association of Science Parks’ 2017 World Conference on Innovation in Islamabad. He urged all friends of Pakistan to help NUST win the event which has full potential to be a game-changer for the country’s development itinerary.

The CSIS delegation considered China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as a watershed opportunity and a turning point for Pakistan, adding that the American investors are also interested to plug in the Pakistani market. Some of the Pakistani participants however took this optimism with a pinch of salt. There was a view that the issues of accountability, performance and governance should be resolved if Pakistan were to progress in substantive terms. The event marked a productive discourse on the fall-out of current geopolitics, its implications for Pakistan and the region at large, and a pragmatic approach to manage challenges. The participants achieved a general consensus of resolving Pakistan’s critical indigenous issues through self-reliance and efficient governance, performance and accountability.

Other experts who attended the event were Dr. Mohammad Akram Sheikh (Professor Emeritus NUST), Governor (retd) Owais Ghani, Ambassador Riaz Khokhar, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Ambassador Sarwar Ali Naqvi, Dr. Shoaib Suddle, Dr. Asad Ali Shah, Dr. Ashfaq Hassan Khan, Dr. Sania Nishter, Dr. Tughral Yamin, Minister Farzana Yaqub, and many other eminent personalities.

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