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May 15, 2018

No country should be dictated by its donors, said Dr. Umar Saif founding Vice Chancellor of Information Technology University (ITU) of the Punjab while addressing a seminar on “Transformative Development of Asia” held under the auspices of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at ITU here today.
The panelist Dr. Deepak Nayyar, former VC of the University of Delhi, said that the past 50 years witnessed remarkable economic growth in Asia but the rapid growth was not transformed into meaningful development. Asian development was due to economic growth and industrialization, he added and discussed the role of economic openness for education, agriculture, institution, cultures and poverty. He spoke about the methodology that should be adopted while studying Asia, and that country specific case studies on development experience should be used instead of grouping countries by income or geographic location.
Dr. Faisal Bari, Chairman of IDEAS and Associate Professor in LUMS briefed the audience on key findings from the second Pakistan National Human Development Report – “Unleashing the Potential of a Young Pakistan”. He quoted both promising and dire statistics on the current youth scenario and how the youth in Pakistan present either a huge opportunity or a challenge.
Dr. Khalid Malik, Former Head of Human Development Report UNDP, and Postgrad Researcher at Oxford University, spoke about the growth of China. He mentioned how in China policies are tested and experimented on a local level before they are scaled nationally. Furthermore, policies are developed within China and not taken from other countries or international organizations. They also empower local leadership and bureaucracy to innovate policies.
The seminar was followed by launch of the book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger 2050” by Nadeem ul Haque, Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. His future history book envisions a Pakistan which has become a leading economy and describes what would have happened to accomplish this. He talked about how he used a complexity approach instead of the standard economic models. He also described his personal experiences in development when he worked as a Trade Policy Advisor to the Minister of Commerce, Government of Pakistan.
Dr. Akmal Hussain Dean at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences introduced the session, while Dr. Izza Aftab, the Chairperson of the Department of Economics moderated the event.