LAHORE:LUMS hosted the ‘[email protected]’ Summit curated by the South Asia Center of the London School of Economics and Political Science recently.
According to a press release, the event brought together more than 250 students, academics, industry professionals, and entrepreneurs to participate in a series of critical conversations on topics ranging from policy and philanthropy to the health and future of Pakistan’s economy.
“Debates about legal, economic and development challenges and issues are what the world can learn from,” said Prof Alnoor Bhimani, Honorary Dean at the Suleman Dawood School of Business, LUMS and Professor, LSE and Director, LSE South Asia Center formally Inaugurated the Summit. Shahid Hussain, the Rector of the University spoke about the critical importance of discussing Pakistan’s future while LUMS VC Dr Arshad Ahmad said: “Pakistan @75 brings prescient subjects to modernize Pakistan and develop of the capacity to be a powerhouse in a bold trajectory of a nation-building agenda.”
Proceedings began with a panel discussion on the Decolonising Law for a Modern Pakistan. Dame Maura McGowan, Judge, High Court of England and Wales, explained that decolonization is “a pointless exercise unless we have a vision of what it will look like.” The panel that commented on the issue included Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice, Supreme Court , as well as legal advocates Dr Amber Darr, Ms Sara Malkani, and Salman Akram Raja.
The second panel discussing “Can Pakistan Become South Asia’s Powerhouse?” with Dr Ali Cheema, founding member of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan and Director of the MHRC; Abdul Razak Dawood, Pro-Chancellor, LUMS; Sania Nishtar, Public Health Advocate; Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Founder, Akhuwat Foundation, and Dr Mariam Chughtai, Associate Dean, School of Education, LUMS.
Dr Cheema outlined the development challenges and the difficult obstacles facing Pakistan and suggested some key drivers. Mr Dawood said “Population and climate change are the biggest economic threats facing Pakistan, followed by the issue of energy crisis and national debt.” Dr Sania Nishtar emphasized “If the Auditor General’s office is reformed, it will become a powerful engine of change for the country”. Dr Amjad Saqib emphasized the need for comprehensive social, political, and financial inclusion of the forgotten members of society on the front lines. The Summit concluded with the launch of the LSE South Asia Centre’s Annual Forum, with a conversation on nation building between Syed Babar Ali OBE, Founder LUMS, entrepreneur, philanthropist and educationist and Dean Bhimani.
According to Mr Ali, Pakistan’s main problem is the lack of investment in education. “Give people the authority and autonomy to deliver what they’re good at, not something they can’t achieve.”