The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Pakistan Office hosted an interactive meeting titled “Political Challenges for Contemporary Pakistan” for a German delegation on an educational trip.
In his introductory remarks, Dr Niels Hegewisch, Country Director FES Pakistan, welcomed the guests and introduced the FES Pakistan and its programs. The guest speakers for workshop included Nasreen Azhar, member of the Human Rights Commission Pakistan and Dr Salma Malik, Assitant Professor at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.
Subsequently, Nasreen Azhar, spoke on the state of society and situation of women’s rights in Pakistan. She highlighted that Pakistan faces multiple challenges in contemporary times but not limited to economic and political instabilities and intolerance etc. She gave a brief overview of the women’s movement in Pakistan and discussed how patriarchy has adversely affected the evolution of the society. She was of the view that many South Asian countries share same trends. Nasreen also deliberated about positively changing patterns of the society and how new trends provide hope for better future for all.
In her keynote address on regional peace and security, Dr Salma Malik, elaborated that security has moved away from a state-centric towards people-centric perspective. The trends of traditional security challenges are now overwhelmed by non-traditional security challenges. She gave a brief historical overview of the complex post-colonial history of the region. Dr. Malik stressed, that in any past and future conflict, the most vulnerable are women and children. She also briefed the participants on current developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.
The discussion ended with an interactive session with the speakers.