Senior civil servants and policy-makers should consider public input in governance and also engage with various shades of opinion.
National School of Public Policy Rector Ismail Qureshi stated this while addressing a delegation of senior officers of the National School of Public Policy, Lahore at the Jinnah Institute (JI) in Islamabad on Tuesday. He also elaborated the importance of trade and called for making it a centrepiece of our diplomacy and development strategies.
The delegation of senior officers of the school’s 97th National Management Course included civil servants from various occupational groups based in Pakistan and on foreign missions. The participants engaged with the panellists and exchanged views on various dimensions of Pakistan’s public policy and societal trends.
Lieutenant General (retd) Talat Masood, a prominent defence and political analyst, discussed JI’s efforts to improve Pakistan-India relations through Track-II dialogue. He was of the view that the dialogue has helped ease restrictions and encouraged both sides to engage with each other on issues such as trade.
Sehar Tariq, senior research and advocacy fellow at JI, presented studies conducted by JI on the state of education and education policy in Pakistan. “The government has declared an education emergency across the country, however, what has emerged from the popular debate is that there is not one education emergency to confront. The sector faces a multitude of emergencies, each equally necessitating the creation of an efficient and effective education system,” she said.
On JI’s efforts to promote and safeguard the rights of non-Muslim Pakistanis, Human Rights Activist Marvi Sirmed said the organisation’s work has even assisted policy-making bodies such as the parliament. “The institute has showed the world that Pakistanis are responsible thinkers who want to engage with the democratic process,” she added.
The JI is a non-profit public policy organisation that functions as a think tank, advocacy group and public-outreach body independent of the govt. It’s committed to investing in policies that promote fundamental rights, tolerance and pluralism. Press release
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2012.