On February 23rd, the Centre for Public Policy and Governance (CPPG), Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) hosted a seminar on Humanitarianism in Foreign Missions and Pakistan’s Narrative. Dr. Saeed Shafqat, Professor and Founding Director, CPPG, moderator, introduced his Excellency Mr. Imran Ali, a career Pakistan Foreign Service Officer. His Excellency currently is serving as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Oman since January 2022. Earlier, he served as a Consul General in Barcelona from 2018-2022, in Washington DC from 2000-2004, and in Toronto from 2009-2014. In the Foreign Office, he has worked in US and Europe Divisions and had the opportunity to serve as director to two Foreign Ministers of Pakistan – Mr. Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and Shah Mahmud Qureshi. His Excellency is a Fulbright Scholar and holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from George Washington University, Georgetown. Dr. Shafqat, welcoming the ambassador, raised a critical question that any notion of humanitarianism or sympathy for the migrant workers in both the Gulf States and developed countries was almost unheard off? Therefore, he said, the participants would be keen to hear what kind of humanitarian narrative the ambassador will offer on the role Pakistan’s Missions.
Mr. Imran Ali, in his opening remarks, focused on creating humanitarian public institutions. His Excellency, in his detailed presentation, developed an analytical distinction between the human model vs. the bureaucratic model, and how humanity is missing in public service, civil services, and foreign missions. Explaining the concept of humanitarianism, he remarked that unfortunately, humanity and humaneness is not even found as a word in training institutions of Pakistan. The case study used in his presentation was of the Barcelona Consulate, to provide a context of Pakistani narrative. He described Pakistaniat as Humanity and in that context posed the question “Who will make the Pakistan narrative?” on the subject matter. Will it be the officers from the civil service or the military? Or will it be the youth i.e.; the graduate and post-graduate populace of Pakistan? He put the onus on bureaucracy.
Summing up, he concluded his presentation by recommending that the Civil Service Academy and other training should inculcate, kindness and compassion. Given that spirit, he propounded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should develop a humanitarian vision.
The seminar concluded with a thought-provoking question/answer session. On behalf of the Rector, faculty, and students Dr. Shafqat thanked Ambassador, Imran Ali, for an informative and insightful presentation on how Foreign Service officers are contributing towards Humanitarianism in Foreign Missions and Pakistan’s Narrative.