LISA/Davos Meeting 2019
LISA - Balochistan at Davos 2019
As the world’s most rich and powerful businesses and political leaders gather in Davos, LISA led team had an opportunity to showcase peace and prosperity in Balochistan on the side-lines of annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meetings. This year, over 60 heads of state or government, 1,900 business leaders, over 200 media leaders from around the world and hundreds of representatives from the civil society, young generation, technologists and the world’s top minds attending the Davos 2019 meeting
LISA invited the Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan, Commander Southern Command Lt General Asim Saleem Bajwa and Senator Anwaar ul Haq Kakar.
The first event was a dinner session at Schatzalp held on Tuesday 22 January 2019. Schatzalp is located high above Davos near the former “Magic Mountain. The Guest of Honour for this event was the Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan. A pleasant surprise for many of the people present, just a short time ago it would have been unimaginable that the CM of Balochistan would represent Pakistan in this high-profile international forum!
It was attended by about 85 invitees from around the world including business leaders, media groups, and representatives of civil society. There was visible excitement as the theme was ‘Balochistan for Peace and Development’. Chairman LISA conducted the proceedings by giving an appropriate introduction and moderated the discussion.
He thanked his hosts who were very generous and considerate in hosting this event at such a prestigious place. London Institute of South Asia is an independent not for profit organization based in London that aims to bring to its platform leaders, thinkers, scholars who share our objectives of promoting peace, human rights and freedom for three people of South Asia. It is in pursuit of these objectives that LISA has invited today three eminent leaders to talk to us and give us their assessment on prosperity and development of Balochistan and how they see the future of this province of Pakistan in days to come.
Saeed Ismat emphasised that geostrategic location and interconnectivity projects of BRI with CPEC as its flagship provides a phenomenal opportunity for not only economic development and wellbeing of Pakistan and specifically Balochistan but here we are witnessing an unprecedented historical event of ‘Convergence of Civilisations’; the Chinese (Sinic) civilisation converging from the northeast, the Russian civilisation from the north, the Islamic civilisation in the south and south west, and the Western civilisation in the west. All these shall converge in Pakistan with the Indus Valley civilisation and if better sense prevails, we may in times to come also welcome the Hindu civilisation to connect as well.
The chairman then introduced the Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa and Senator Anwaar ul Haq Kakar to the distinguished guests.
Giving an introduction to Pakistan’s largest province by territory, The Chief Minister first explained the many opportunities that the abundance of natural resources of the Province with its who spaces afford. He explained how CPEC and other projects of the government offers to potential investors. That he was very eloquent and credible was a real surprise for the assembled who generally tend to treat Balochistan as a backward Province teeming with militant leaders who are not so literate and/or capable. The chief minister of Balochistan talked at length about economic opportunities and dividends of peace and the rich resources of his province. He highlighted the future economic prospects and invited the audience to invest in Balochistan.
Lt General Bajwa was equally eloquent and impressive. He articulated his views with great confidence. He said, “With the improvement in geo-politics situation, the focus is shifting towards geo-economics. Gwadar is going to be connected through Afghanistan and Central Asia to Russia. We see other regional ports as complementary ports to Gwadar,”
He also gave the guests a short but effective briefing about the improved security situation in the province including the progress that the fencing of the Afghan border is making and the projects that the Pakistan Army is supporting, particularly in education and road network.
Senator Kakar highlighted the positive influence of the new democratic young leadership of Balochistan and was optimistic about growth, stability and development. He felt in the new leadership of Jam Kamal Khan we shall be witnessing good governance and rapid uplift of the lives of the Balochi people.
Senator Kakar gave a brilliant exposition about the current situation and future programs supporting the CM’s and adding his views about the optimistic future of this largest but least developed province of Pakistan. During the lively Q & A Session that followed, a lot of negative perceptions about Balochistan were dispelled.
The event provided an opportunity to tell the rich and powerful people of the world about the developments that have taken place in past couple of years and the benefits that the impoverished provinces may reap in coming years.
The fact of an elected CM of Balochistan representing Pakistan and that too in a very eloquent and knowledgeable way has gone a long way to changing perceptions about Balochistan not being really past of the Pakistan mainstream.