National Conference on Identification and Actualization of National Narrative of Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: A National Conference on Identification and Actualization of National Narrative of Pakistan was held on Thursday under the auspicious of Islamabad Policy Research Institute. It was an earnest attempt to reshape a dialogue process between various stakeholders in identifying and prioritizing a narrative that should come to address the interests of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf was the keynote speaker on the occasion. The conference was also addressed by Chairman of Senate’s Defence Committee Mushahid Hussain Syed, Former foreign minister Hina Rabbai Khar, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology Dr Qibla Ayaz, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan and Senator Javed Jabbar.
Moeed Yusuf said that there is a need to build a strong national narrative, and it could be on multiple strengths. He said unfortunately Pakistan has been a victim of a negative narrative, and this is in need of being reversed by eulogizing our merits in geostrategic and economic horizons.
He said, “Our objective should be to project our true national reality.” Moeed called for graduating from the conventional perspective on narrative building, and adopt to new tools of communication and image-building. He pointed out that frequent contradictions mean confusion, and this is where Pakistan has to mend its fences, and canvas an unapologetic narrative.
Senator Mushahid Hussain observed that Pakistan has contributed immensely to the world in terms of culture, peace-building and sense of togetherness; and said that narrative is in need of being reinvented. He said there are three tectonic shifts that Pakistan is undergoing these days, such as confronting a Hindutva-driven India, United States exit from Afghanistan and the social media revolution.
He called for building a narrative based on ground realities, and it has to be people-driven and not state-centric.
Hina Rabbani Khar highlighted the aspect of identity realization. She said that Pakistan should not only canvas an antagonistic narrative, and has to build a cohesive perspective.
Qibla Ayaz said that religion is a fundamental of our narrative, and luckily divergent sects of Muslims have evolved a 22-point consensus called Istekham-e-Pakistan charter.
Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, however, refused to acknowledge that Pakistan has a national narrative to this day, and called for one evolving on soil realities. He castigated the manner in which history has been distorted in Pakistani syllabus, and called it an ideological bogey. He said Pakistan should adopt a pluralist narrative, and should not be myopic in essence.
Senator Javed Jabbar said the identity of Pakistan has, in fact, been actualized and there is no need to worry for it. He said Pakistan has survived all odds and has overcome disparities to stand fast as a nation-state. He stressed for education and this is the way Pakistan can beat cynic tendencies, and parochialism prevalent at the moment.