China Study Centre, COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), hosted a symposium on Centennial goals of China - Learning from the past, Planning for the Future on 29th September 2021. The Ambassador of Peoples Republic of China to Pakistan, His Excellency Nong Rong attended the event virtually and congratulated China Study Centre of CUI for this productive activity. He shared how China has efficiently attained its first centennial goal of eradicating poverty and is now marching its second centennial goal of prosperous, strong democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious nation by 2049. The Rector, CUI, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Tabassum Afzal, in his welcome address specified how Pakistan has continuously followed the strategy of maintaining respectable relationships with China, and its plans on strengthening these ties further. The Head of the China Study Centre, Dr. Tahir Mumtaz Awan in his keynote address explained the aim of symposium and highlighted how Pakistan can learn from the “China Model” and align its strategic direction for a better future. Dr. Awan highlighted his experiences during his five years of stay in China and shared eye witnessed moments of country’s development. The Chief Guest of Symposium, Eng. Dr. Akram Sheikh (HI), former Federal Minister and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission highlighted the vital matters Pakistan is facing now-a-days. He said the learning from China can be enhanced through streamlining an appropriate track for the nation, as only then we can have a prosperous society. He further highlighted the role that educational institutions in taking up projects for the advancement of our nation and suggested the development of China-Pak elder’s group and CPEC international forum to provide strategic roadmap.
The first panel discussion focused on “Learning form the Past” was moderated by Ambassador (Retd.) Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi. The discussants included Ambassador (Retd.) Tariq Fatemi, Ambassador (Retd.) Riaz Muhammad Khan, Mr. Imtiaz Gul, S. M. Hali, and Dr. Talat Shabbir. The focus of discussion was how China has achieved its first centennial goal and by following the footsteps of China, how Pakistan can become a prosperous nation. The suggestions of the panel included providing purposeful education to youth, follow modern approach in terms of development, and to provide job opportunities. The second panel discussion focusing on “Planning for the Future” was aimed at the second centennial goal of China to become one of the strongest economies globally till 2049. The session was moderated by Major General (Retd.) Samrez Salik, HI (M). The panelists included Ambassador (Retd.) Zamir Akram, Dr. Hassan Daud Butt, Brig (Retd.) Amir Yaqub, Mr. Haroon Sharif, and Mr. Mustafa Hyder Sayed. In the view of panelists, Pakistan as compared to China is not a weak country, but to succeed we need to develop our values to stabilize our economy. The key takeaway of the session was that shift towards knowledge economy is very important and the secret to success is ensuring that the public good is to practice and preform.
China Study Centre of CUI believes that we have to focus on the pedestal through which we can achieve the targeted milestones. The picture is not that dull, dark and dreary, but as twining opposites we need to take lessons from our immediate neighbors, if we want far fetched relations. To conclude, for putting our house in order, we should be positively striving towards our goals to achieve long term success. The symposium ended on a good note and recommendations were provided for the government and societal wellbeing.
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