Forum calls for responsible governance, youth empowerment


ISLAMABAD: The two-day Pakistan Governance Forum 2023 drew to a close with a strong call to significantly enhance governance practices while addressing the pressing issues faced by the country.

The forum emphasised the need for a stable, transparent, agile and responsible (STAR) governance system to be implemented.

Under the landmark initiative of ‘Turnaround Pakistan,’ the event saw the participation of prominent figures from diverse sectors, political leaders, experts and representatives from civil society.

Deliberations during the forum covered a wide range of crucial aspects of governance.

Speaking at the concluding session, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal highlighted the importance of aligning governance with principles such as stability, transparency, agility and responsibility.

He stressed the significance of preserving meritocracy as a fundamental pillar in public administration, essential for effective and efficient governance.

Minister Iqbal also emphasized the need to overcome political instability by prioritizing the country’s larger interests over individual or group agendas.

Responsible governance, he noted, should not only ensure stability but also embrace reforms and adapt to changing external environments.

Recognizing the youth as Pakistan’s economic powerhouse, Iqbal spoke about the government’s efforts to prepare the nation for the digital revolution.

Initiatives like providing laptops to students and establishing centers for artificial intelligence, cyber security, big data cloud computing, automation, and robotics aim to equip the youth with skills for success in the modern world.

Several sessions

During the final day of the forum, several sessions addressed critical issues, including catalyzing growth through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs), strategies for countering terrorism and extremism, and boosting economic inclusion for the youth through entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises.

Expressing concern over the impact of political discontinuity on Pakistan’s progress, Iqbal called for unity as “team Pakistan” to achieve sustained development and become a leading economy.

Secretary Ministry of Planning Syed Zafar Ali Shah stressed the need to strike a balance between audited manuals and development manuals for good governance.

He highlighted the importance of effective implementation and results-oriented approaches in achieving desired outcomes, referencing major development plans like CPEC and the flood response plan.

Read more: Ministry kicks off roadmap for transparent governance system

Shah also underscored the critical role of institutions in the governance debate, emphasizing that the effectiveness of governance should be measured by its impact on the common people and the delivery of public services.

The forum concluded with appreciation for participants and organizers, encouraging open debates to find innovative solutions for sustainable development.

The commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was emphasized as an obligation to the world and a promise to the citizens of Pakistan.

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