Pakistani nation still looking for direction: Rabbani

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani Tuesday reiterated that Pakistani nation would overcome extremism and terrorism as it had unprecedented resilience to fight and make a comeback from the knock down position.

Addressing at the concluding session of a seminar on “70 Years of Pakistan” here organized by the Senate Defense Committee, the Chairman said Pakistani citizens were still looking for direction despite lapse of 70 years. He said the people were unable to decide whether there should be democracy or dictatorship, presidential form or parliamentary system of government.

“Our people have faced hardships at the hands of dictators, however, its successfully overthrew the usurpers through democratic struggle and restored democracy while crossing all the odds and sacrificing their lives”, Raza Rabbani said. He said conscious efforts have been made by the State during Zia regime to promote a culture of extremism and drifted from the culture of tolerance, compassion and love, which are hallmark of this land of Sufism.

Rabbani said that during the Zia regime student unions were banned and healthy activities of the students having liberal affiliation were not encouraged. However, he said the rightist wing political parties were given a free hand to have their student wings active in the campuses to spread a culture and ideology of extremism in the country.

He remarked that effective platform of dialogue and discussion in the shape of student unions was a great loss. The Chairman said that coffee culture, student unions and trade associations gave society a liberal and progressive leadership having the capability to engage with the society for prompting positive discourse on issues being faced by the common man.

He said that such associations were considered the cornerstone of democratic process as they play active role in democratization of the society. Rabbani brushed aside the notion that our culture is Arab culture.

He said that our culture emanates from the cultures of Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and their synthesis make a Pakistani culture. He said deliberate attempts were made to do away with coffee culture which promoted people like Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Habib Jalib etc.

Mian Raza Rabbani, however, expressed his optimism that nation would rise from the slumber and would overcome the challenges being faced on social, political and economic fronts.

Earlier, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Resident Representative of Konard Adenauer Stiftung, Chairman Higher Education Commission Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Prof Li Xiguang and German Ambassador to Pakistan also spoke on the occasion and shed lights on Pakistan achievement during the last 70 years. They also highlighted challenges being confronted to Pakistani and its people.