School of Education (SE) and Seeta Majeed School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (SLASS), organized a two-day conference on the topic, ‘Pakistan: Education, Culture and the Economy’ at Beaconhouse National University. Held on April 23-24, 2015, the conference was organized with the support of British Council Pakistan. Noted British author, Orwell Prize-winning journalist and policy analyst, Professor Anatol Lieven graced the occasion as the keynote speaker. Also present on the occasion were British Council Punjab Director Mr. Kevin McLaven, Chairperson BNU Board of Governors, Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri, Mr. Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, noted speakers, analysts, and faculty members of BNU.
The School of Education (SE) has been organizing annual conferences since 2013 on subjects and areas related to education and language. This year however, it joined hands with the Seeta Majeed School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (SLASS) to address diverse issues pertaining to Pakistan. The first day of the conference was dedicated to student dialogue where students from SE and SLASS participated in a discussion on Educational, Cultural and Economic issues that exist in Pakistan. To further highlight the theme, the second day of the conference was dedicated to scholarly dialogue where noted analysts and academicians presented their papers.
In his keynote address, Professor Anatol Lieven said that Pakistan is an amazingly resilient country which has held itself together despite facing terrorism, insurgency and regional instability. He reflected upon the themes that he has discussed in his book “Pakistan: A Hard Country” including Pakistan’s role in regional politics. He said that it should be a matter of pride that Pakistan is being asked to contribute to the stability of the Middle East but at the same time, this should be taken as a dreadful warning as its involvement in regional crisis can lead to further mayhem within the country. He also said that after the unfortunate Peshawar attack, the citizens of Pakistan have developed a united will to fight terrorism. The development of this consensus itself means that Pakistan has already won the war against insurgency; what remains now is to win the peace.
Besides the keynote speech by Professor Lieven, the inaugural session also included addresses by Mr. Kevin McLaven, Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri, and session Chair Dr. Mehdi Hassan. The speakers praised the efforts of BNU for encouraging scholarly dialogue through the conference.
The academic sessions of the conference revolved around different pressing issues within the domain of Culture, Education, and Economy. Dr. Tariq Rehman, Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Dr. Muhammad Waseem, Dr. Taimur Rehman, Dr. Amineh Hoti, Ms. Sara Kazmi, Ms. Bela Raza from ASER, and Dr. Ummad Mazhar presented their researches in these sessions. The academic sessions were chaired by Dr. Qaisera Sheikh, Dr. Naveed Hamid, and Mr. Shehzad Amjad.
The audience and students showed deep interest in the academic sessions and shared their views and questions with the presenters. The conference was moderated by Mr. Muttaqi Malik while Ms. Shabana Ahmed extended a vote of thanks to all those who have contributed in organizing the conference.