At an Express Media Group seminar on Thursday, poets, writers, journalists, actors and philanthropists expressed optimism that Pakistan will be able to steer out of its present crises.
“Crises are not unusual in the evolution of nations. They emerge stronger from bleak times. There is no denial that our country is passing through the most critical phase at this point. However, the situation demands from all of us to inject a much-needed sense of pride in the people,” said Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
Cricketer Shahid Afridi, writer Iftikhar Arif, human rights worker Ansar Burney, acclaimed academic Ata-ur-Rehman, film star Javaid Sheikh and Ibrahim Shahid, and a student who made a world record in O-levels, were invited to the event for their services to the country.
The prime minister said the people of Pakistan have potential to overcome turbulent times and their exemplary dedication during last year’s floods exhibits their ability to tackle major problems.
Unity amongst people of Pakistan could help in steering the country out of the many crises emanating from terrorism, energy shortfall as well as law and order breakdowns, said minister for information Firdous Ashiq Awan.
Iftikhar Arif, a celebrated poet and former Chairman National Language Authority, said that the nation must rise above provincialism and ethnic partisanship to forge a national identity.
Shahid Afridi expressed satisfaction that the seminar was highlighting a nationalist outlook.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.
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