On 8th April 2019, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad in collaboration with MNS-University of Agriculture, Multan organized a Conference on “The Contours of National Unity”, at Mehboob Ali Auditorium, Central Cotton Research Institute, Multan.
The Conference had the participation of distinguished guest speakers and experts of the subject. The guest speakers who delivered speeches during the Conference included: a. Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal, Former Federal Secretary of Information and Senior Member Advisory Board CGSS, Islamabad
b. Professor. Dr. Asif Ali – Vice Chancellor, MNS-University of Agriculture, Multan
c. Mr. Ahmed Yar Hiraj – Chairman Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (Chief Guest)
d. Lieutenant General Naeem Khalid Lodhi HI(M), (Retd) – Former Federal Minister of Defence
e. Mr. Mohammad Ali Durrani – Former Federal Minister of Information, Government of Pakistan
f. Brigadier Akhtar Nawaz Janjua, (Retd) – Senior Member Advisory Board, CGSS
g. Mr. Rasheed Ahmed - Lecturer, Islamic Studies, MNS-University of Agriculture, Multan
h. Dr. Amir Furqan – Assistant Professor, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi Institute of Cardiology, Multan
The session commenced with the opening remarks by Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal, Former Federal Secretary of Information and Senior Member Advisory Board CGSS, Islamabad who welcomed and thanked the worthy participants of the session.
Mr. Ahmed Yar Hiraj – Chairman Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission stated that national culture of any country is what its people asset and practice along with what they hold valued and what they defend. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is no exception in this regard. It has a national culture united and cemented in the diversity of socio-political thoughts and cultural variations. People from all the four major ethnic groups and provinces remain united amid the minor rifts over their rights and sharing the national wealth. We have to generate the feelings of patriotism and nationalism instead of regionalism and provincialism, within ourselves by motivating the youth and have to dedicate to the cause of national integration consciously.
Mr. Mohammad Ali Durrani – Former Federal Minister of Information, Government of Pakistan stated that it is the duty of every individual to play their due part in nation building. The prevailing situation demands from the nation a sense of sacrifice and responsibility towards state and society unanimously. At the state level, the institutions working for national reconstruction are inadequate to deal with the deep-rooted problems of regionalism, sectarianism and aggressiveness. People from all walks of life should extend their cooperation to arrest the onslaught of alien ideologies and cultures.
Other panelists of the Conference concluded that only one factor cannot keep the whole nation integrated so we have to consider multiple factors, which in combination can sustain the national integration. Over-reliance on any single factor while ignoring the others would result in non-achievement of national integration. Today Pakistanis are more conscious of their territoriality and distinct geopolitical personality than ever before. The sources of pride and patriotism are internal, rooted in the territory that constitutes Pakistan. The more we look at Pakistan through the lens of territory and domestic culture, the more coherent and integrated our identity becomes. This makes it all the more important to recognize the complex linkages among ethnicity, Islam and territorial identification to understand the interplay of social and political forces that influence the processes of nation building and identity formation.
Approximately 250 people including representatives of public and private sector, Professors and students attended the Conference.