The Conference brought together the Movers & Shakers of Pakistan as Keynote Speakers; from the former Governor of Punjab, Lt. Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool Sb, Academia: Chairman HEC, Dr. Javaid R. Laghari Sb, Senior Journalists: Oriya Maqbool Jan Sb, Javed Chaudhry sb, and the remarkable Mohammad Malick Sb, Senior Foreign Diplomat, US Consul General: Ms. Nina Maria Fite, Google, Country Consultant, Badar Khushnood Sb, CEO Depilex, Ms. Massarat Misbah, Media & Cultural Icons: Mian Yousuf Salahuddin Sb, Adeel Hashmi Sb, Ms. Huma Amir Shah delivered their talks, and shared Dreams for Pakistan.
The Theme of the Conference was I Dream of a Pakistan.. The objective was to create a platform where passionate people can come together and spark deep discussions on how to bring a peaceful & positive change to Pakistan. Videos of Riveting Talks by these Remarkable speakers will be uploaded on HU Youtube Channel, in the next few days!
TEDxHUP featured thought-provoking activities for the attendees as well, they could write their Dreams for Pakistan on a huge writing wall, which read: I Dream of a Pakistan.. Change starts with a blank sheet of Paper. The writing wall received a huge response, as scores of people were seen passionately writing their aspirations for our beloved country, Pakistan. Moreover, the activities included Picture Background and I Dream of a _______ Pakistan, placards which the honorable speakers and attendees filled out. View the hundreds of Pictures in the Flickr Gallery attached in this article.
The Curator of TEDxHUP, Mr. Fahd Sheikh, Director International Relations at HU, in his welcome address spoke about the passion which our youth has and their determination to put Pakistan in its rightful place. He said:
They (our youth) have a dream in their eyes and aspirations in their hearts. They have faith in their abilities and discipline in their character.They believe that the country that has such a thriving talent, has to come out of the economic distress, political instability and artificial scarcity of all basic necessities
Dr. Ajaz Qureishi, a radio anchor, did a great job as the Master of the Ceremony of TEDxHUP, he kept the audience engaged and hungry for more Riveting Talks by Remarkable People. The 11 Keynote Speakers delivered their talks in the following order. We’ve tried to highlight the essence of their Dreams & Aspirations for Pakistan. (Hope we’ve hit the right cords.)
- 1st speaker: Lt. Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool sb, Former Governor Punjab spoke about how essential it is for women and other marginalized sections of the country, to be given their rights. Lt Gen (r) Maqbool blamed feudalism for the lack of a sustainable political system, saying that a strong educational system along with merit based employment opportunities could help Pakistan. People are ready for a change, he said adding that the nation had the resources and the spirit to move in the right direction. It will not be easy, it will not be fast; but at least it will be the first step in the right direction, he added.
- 2nd speaker: Mr. Mohammad Malick, Editor THE NEWS Islamabad, said I Dream of a Pakistan which dares to Dream.. . He said our nation finds comfort in solitude, because we fear one another, whereas the progressive nations find comfort in large numbers. He gave disturbing figures of women victims, which we choose not to discuss, and that it must come to an end. He further added by virtue of his profession: Journalism, he has met with all the top guns of Pakistan, which was both a blessing and a curse. He expressed his desire for Pakistani’s to dare to dream.
- 3rd Speaker: Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, Chairperson Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, said that Pakistan was a country rich in resources, which he said had remained untapped. He stressed the need to benefit from the natural resources including water and precious metal reserves. Laghari said he believed that the country could overcome the energy crisis if the resources available were explored. We have $1.2 trillion worth of gold and copper reserves in the country, he said.
The biggest untapped resource is the country’s diverse population, he said, adding that the government needed to invest in the youth. He urged the government to spend more on education, Research, Laghari said, will lead to a knowledge-based economy that will help the country prosper.
- 4th speaker: Mr. Javed Chaudhry, Columnist, Anchor of Kaal Tak Current affairs show- I have no new dreams for Pakistan, said journalist Javed Chaudhry, adding that he wanted the nation to realise all of its old dreams. We already have so many unfulfilled dreams that there is no need to dream of something new, he said, adding, Only people who are not living their dreams need a new one.
- 5th speaker: Mr. Badar Khushnood The country consultant for Google, shared his dream of a globally connected, locally engaged and digitally active Pakistan. For Khushnood the potential lay in the fast growing mobile phone market and internet growth. The internet is not just a new medium, its a new lifestyle, he said, adding that the importance of technology could be gauged by the fact that a sitting chief minister had created a Facebook page and his rivals are campaigning using social media. He said that conventional media was also going digital. Change is not the death [of a society], the fear of change is, said Khushnood.
- 6th speaker: Mr. Orya Maqbool Jan Columnist, senior Journalist, expressed his desire for a country where people owned their culture, identity and language. He added that only technological and economic development could not ensure success. He said Pakistan should follow the example of Iran, a country that he said, had stuck to its language and culture and was all the better because of it.
- 7th speaker: Ms. Massarat Misbah, CEO Depilex, and Founder of Smile Again Foundation. As an entrepreneur talked about the immense resources of Pakistan and how can these land resources be used for building better Pakistan. She pointed towards the prevalent state of corruption, malpractices and lose grip of Government on the deteriorating economic situation of the country. She showed faith in and expected that change will be inevitable and Pakistan will soon become one of the strongest nation of the world.
- 8th speaker: Mr. Adeel Hashmi, Actor, Director, Film Maker. A true dreamer and a true blood Pakistani, expressed much concern about the deterioration taking place all over the Country. He emphasized the need of education but also criticized that as nation we are not improving our conduct and behavior.We get into the habit of blaming others but also we need to correct ourselves. He was very much concerned about Government actions on laying ban on the cultural shows and national festivals. He emphasized that we should not only dream to make a better Pakistan but we should also contribute by casting our vote in picking up the right leadership for our beloved Country.
- 9th speaker: Ms. Huma Amir Shah, Newscaster, Morning Show Host, Media Icon,Â spoke about her own struggle in life. She criticized the Government for the lack of Transport mechanisms in Lahore, especially for women, and the prevailing security situation which acts as a deterrent for the women to purse professional lives. She also spoke about the sectarian mindset that people have, which creates huge biases between the different sects of Islam, and how that has had an impact on her life.
- 10th speaker: Ms. Nina Maria Fite, US Consul General Lahore, said that she hoped that Pakistan could realize the dreams of its citizens. I dream of a prosperous Pakistan, she said further she added The world over, people are motivated by their dreams. Those who have dared to dream big have opened the frontiers of innovation, led social movements, and even founded nations, such as Pakistan and the United States. Dreams for ourselves, our families, and for our nations, have pressed us forward to greater equality, tolerance, and invention and prosperity. As each generation pursues its dreams, we also fulfill the visions and hopes of those who came before us.
- 11th speaker: Mr. Mian Yousuf Salahudin, Philanthropist and Cultural Icon, Strongly condemned the present Government for crushing the social and cultural heritage of the Country. Basant Festival regarded as very powerful cultural symbol was banned by the Government of the Punjab. He further stressed the need of self sufficiency and showed video clips on Kalam-e-Iqbal.He advocated that self sufficiency was need of the day and he strongly rebuked foreign aids and foreign guidance on making policies for Pakistan. He infused the spirit of Unity, Faith and Discipline in the youngsters, and showed videos of Independence Day and the speeches of Quaid-e-Azam.
The Concluding Remarks of TEDxHUP Conference were given by Mr. Umer Sheikh, Associate Director, International Relations at HU. He said We are (as a nation) responsible to our future generations to safeguard the treasures which Pakistan has given us, Our Freedom, Our Peace & our Identity, and pass it on to the next generation.
He added, Hajvery University (HU), through such conferences, strives to create a platform where passionate people can gather, and spark discussions on where to take Pakistan. He stressed on a call to action: make the message of TEDxHUP, I Dream of a Pakistan VIRAL, and to bring a peaceful and positive change to our beloved country, Pakistan.
Hajvery University (HU) is grateful for the overwhelming response and encouragement TEDxHUP International Conference received, it will inspire us to stage even more thought-provoking events in the future. We apologize to those people whom we could not accommodate in the Auditorium, please stay tuned for future events.
Last but not least, This conference would not have been possible without the untiring efforts of several people, Prof. Nazar A., Prof. Usman G., Ms. Arshia A., Mr. Omer F., Mr. Asif G. Mr. Umer S., and the Curator and brains of TEDxHUP Mr. Fahd S. and all the wonderful people in the Management of HU, who played their roles in this conference, moreover all those HU Students who volunteered for TEDxHUP!