Chicago IL: “Pakistan stands at the crossroads of the world where the cultures of the Central Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia meet and become one. For centuries, the ‘silk route’, through Pakistan, was the main route for trade in silk, spices, and other commodities and exchanges in ideas, skills, and religious beliefs, across Europe and Asia, thereby making it an important country in the international sphere”, said Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Consul General of Pakistan at a gathering of International Baccalaureate Students and Faculty Members, organized by Morgan Park High School of Chicago.
Tirmizi, while giving a presentation on “Economy, Social Systems, and Culture of Pakistan”, said that Pakistan’s economy is all set to embark on a higher growth trajectory due to implementation of stabilization policies and marked improvement in macroeconomic indicators. He said: “Our government is fully committed to economic growth of the country and we have already achieved the set goals of economic boost and will achieve desired economic progress in coming years too by following the vigilant economic policies”.
Tirmizi said that the prudent policies of the Government have resulted in a number of beneficial outcomes, including increasing foreign reserves, positive business sentiments, growth in the real GDP, reduced inflation rate, creation of new employment opportunities, larger inflow of foreign direct investment, etc., and added that these positive parameters indicate that the economy of Pakistan is moving into right directions.
Tirmizi said that Pakistan has positioned itself for global leadership in the realm of education, taking into consideration the present-day fiercely-competitive world of education and work. Towards this, he added, Pakistan has been according a sharper focus on different essential aspects of higher education, especially its diversification, high-end quality, and accessibility to the best and brightest students from all strata. “On account of these initiatives, thousands of students from Pakistan are successfully serving, across the globe, including in the USA as leading Physicians, Engineers, IT professionals, Professors, etc.”, he added.
Tirmizi said that the women in Pakistan will not be allowed to lag behind in the campaign for empowering youth to take a lion’s share of educational and career opportunities not only in Pakistan but also in different developed countries. He applauded developmental programs of Government and proactive efforts of NGOs, Human Rights Organization, and media aimed at giving a big boost to women’s education. “It is gratifying to note that women are registering a decent share not only at different levels of education but also in numerous sectors of employment”, he added.
Tirmizi said that Pakistan has the distinction of electing the first Muslim woman Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, first woman Speaker of National Assembly, Fahmida Mirza, besides over twenty five female Ambassadors and combat pilots. He cited Malala Yousafzai and Samina Baig Mirza as representatives of the women of modern Pakistani.
Tirmizi stated that Pakistan has all types of tourism opportunities, be they archaeological, religious, adventure or of the conventional type. “Pakistan is home to beautiful beaches and a vast array of mountains. It has many distinctive animals and birds. It has places, which are like earthly paradise, such as the Neelam Valley, Swat, Hunza, the unique Kalash valley, the Murree hills, the Shandur Pass and many others”, he added and invited tourism-lovers from different parts of world, including the students of Chicago Public School system, to visit Pakistan and explore its multifaceted and exciting tourism potential.
“Currently, Pakistani society is in transition where tradition and modernity coexist. In this phase of change, Pakistanis have not abandoned their traditional traits of great hospitality, warmth, and friendliness and they continue retain their deep sense of dignity”, concluded Tirmizi.
The scholarly presentation by Tirmizi was followed by a highly spirited and informative one-on-one discussion about a number of key issues relating to Pakistan, including its economic scenario, education system, culture and heritage, tourism potential, etc. Tirmizi underscored the need for further diversifying and enriching the existing mechanism of student- and faculty-exchange between educational institutions of Pakistan and the US. He invited the authorities of the Chicago Public School system to establish a vibrant mechanism of student- and faculty-exchange with leading educational institutions in Pakistan.