Planning ahead: ‘Invest in nation today, reap benefits tomorrow’

Experts shed light while speaking at International Conference on the Challenges of Social and Human Developmen

Our Correspondent November 27, 2016
With the dissolution of the National Commission for Human Development, over 100 employees will also lose their jobs.

KARACHI: The state needs to invest in the sectors of health and education for the people. If we invest today, we will reap the benefits in the next eight years, said National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, social sciences and humanities dean Ashfaque Hasan Khan.

However, the ruling part only lasts five years and does not pay much heed to the said philosophy, he remarked.

Khan was speaking at the sixth International Conference on the Challenges of Social and Human Development, which was held at the Arts Auditorium of Karachi University on Saturday.

While delivering his keynote address on 'Challenges of Human and Social Capital Development for Sustainable Economic Growth in Pakistan', Khan discussed his policy-oriented research paper on the subject matter.

"Empirical evidence suggests that there is a bi-directional link between human and social capital," he said, showing graphs to explain the link. "A nation that spends more on its people always gives them a chance to grow."

In Asia, there are two types of people; those who live in the past and those who think about the future. He then pointed the difference in the approach used by South Asian countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, and East Asian countries, which include Malaysia, Korea and Thailand.

Using graphs, Khan showed how health and education sectors have progressed in East Asian countries as opposed to South Asian countries.

KU professor Moonis Ahmar remarked that in Pakistan, the mindset of the people is still quite backward. How far people feel secure depends on access to basic facilities such as food, water, income, job security and employment opportunities, he claimed.

"We must focus on the global South, where the future of the world lies," he said. "When there is lack of education, no health facilities or any clean drinking water, it is such places [that] become [the bed] of terrorism."

Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2016.


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