Thy brother’s welfare: Forum formed to counter ‘anti-Islam’ forces

Published: July 20, 2014
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A number of lawyers and several Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders attended the launch of Millat Thinkers’ Forum on Friday. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

A number of lawyers and several Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders attended the launch of Millat Thinkers’ Forum on Friday. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

LAHORE: 

The Millat brand launched an ‘independent’ think tank Millat Thinkers’ Forum on Friday, four years after it had launched Millatfacebook to provide an alternative to social networking service Facebook.

Millatfacebook was launched in 2010 after Lahore High Court had ordered closure of Facebook in Pakistan on account of alleged blasphemy.

Its sponsors call Millatfacebook “the sole rival of” Facebook.

Although Millatfacebook has not attracted a comparable number of users, its administration has received endorsement from some religious leaders who called the use of Facebook “un-Islamic”.

A number of lawyers and several Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders attended the launch of Millat Thinkers’ Forum on Friday.

The participants were handed a document carrying an introduction of the forum. The document highlights the importance of funding think-tanks and exempting them from tax.

It said think tanks were classified on the basis of their ideological perspective, sources of funding and prospective beneficiaries. Apart from governments the corporate sector funds think thanks in developed countries, it said.

It said most think tanks in Pakistan were limited by their patrons’ interests. Advocate Mian Khalid Habib Elahi, Advocate Zaheer Ahmad Meer, Omar Meer and Wajihur Rehman are some of the sponsors of the new forum.

In his presentation on ISIS: Implications for Pakistan and the Way Forward, Omar Meer said the US and Israel had formed the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

He said ISIS head Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi alias Dr Ibrahim had been captured by American security agencies and released later to set up the “anti-Islam” organisation. “If the organisation comes to Pakistan, there would be serious implications for the country.”

Meer said Millat Thinkers’ Forum would meet every month, identify problems facing Muslims and give its recommendations. He said minutes of the meetings would be uploaded on Millatfacebook.

Millat Thinkers’ Forum patron-in-chief Zaheer Ahmed Meer regretted that research was not given due importance in Pakistan.

“Through this think tank, we are trying to highlight several issues, including un-Islamic banking and respect for women.”

Co-patron Khalid Habib said the formation of Millat Thinkers’ Forum was timely.

PTI leader Asad Umar said there was room for improvement in every sphere of life. He said if the Millat Thinkers’ Forum could change people’s way of thinking, it would be a great success.

Advocate Ahmed Awais said discussions behind closed doors were not enough. “For so long, we have failed to identify our enemy. The forum should play its role in this regard,” he said.

Mehnaz Rafi said opportunists in important places had had landed the country in all sorts of problems for their personal gains. “We need the Pakistan the Quaid-i-Azam aspired.”

PTI leader Hamid Khan said one reason for lack of research in Pakistan was people’s lack of interest in reading. He said another problem was that policies were being run on an adhoc basis. He said no political party had a permanent think thank to debate major issues facing the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Afshan
    Jul 20, 2014 - 3:53PM

    Good to know finally in Pakistan good work is happening. Am a proud user of myMFB.com (millatfacebook) and am so so happy they have launched this think tank.

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  • Bashir Butt
    Jul 20, 2014 - 7:52PM

    Very informative report by tribune.Congratulations. It make me happy to see our country on the path of development. Thanks to those putting in efforts.

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  • Kashif
    Jul 21, 2014 - 2:07AM

    V interesting. I saw pictures of some army people including genaral ziaudin butt the isi guy nawaz got to replace mush in the event on twitter. sounds like a high profile event dont know pak establishment cannot be so visionary to launch such things

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  • Shahid
    Jul 21, 2014 - 1:26PM

    Thanks for reporting this Tribune.
    I had the opportunity to attend the event. I can tell you it was nothing like I could imagine or had attended before. Not only high profile people from all walks of life were there but the management was superb.

    The quality of research shown in presentation was impressive and so was the conduct. The iftar and food arrangement often neglected in such events was also top notch.

    I am really happy for Millat team and wish them all the best. Hope to see them make us proud with international standard work.

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