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Dr Lodhi’s book highlights Pakistani nation’s resilience against odd times
Ex ambassador of Pakistan to US and former high commissioner to UK and an eminent journalists Dr. Maliha Lodhi launched her book titled “Pakistan: Beyond crisis State”, at anevent held by Oxford University Pakistan Society at Oriel College University of Oxford.
Noted academic and journalist Dr. Sarmila Bose who lectures at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford was in the chair.
The panel included Dr. Faisal Devji (Reader in Modern South Asian History, Oxford), Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed (Jinnah Fellow at St. Antony’s college, Oxford) and Dr. Adeel Malik (Globe Fellow, Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies).
In her opening remarks, Dr. Bose appreciated Dr. Lodhi for putting together a much timely and needed catharsis of the contemporary challenges and the opportunities that Pakistan faces in 21st century.
Dr. Lodhi in her address pointed to the resilience Pakistani nation has shown in the wake of political instability, economic stagnation and natural disasters. She dispelled the notion that Pakistan is at the verge of collapse and emphasised that none of its problems are insolvable.
She argued that at the core of all problems in Pakistan is the mismanagement and lack of governance. She cited the accumulation of circular debt as an example of mismanagement which prevents the country from producing electricity at its maximum capacity.
Dr. Lodhi concluded that as long as there is patronage based political system in Pakistan, which provides no incentive to the elected representatives to improve governance, things will not change for better. She however maintained that it is the growing middleclass and youth that will steer the country through these turbulent times and cited the example of movement for the restoration of judiciary as evidence.
Among the panellists, Dr. Adeel Malik further added that Pakistan’s economy is intrinsically linked to the politics in the country and the political system has not been able to evolve due to multiple military interventions in the country’s politics.
Dr. Faisal Devji emphasised that the historical narrative that has been prevalent in Pakistan needs to be corrected.
Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed admired the efforts by Dr. Lodhi in compiling the book and hailed it as an important contribution to research on Pakistan by prominent authors in social and political science in the country.
The event was attended by a large number of students and members of faculty at the University of Oxford. The president of Oxford Pakistan Society Ayyaz Mallick concluded the ceremony by thanking Dr. Lodhi, panellists and the audience.