وہ بُتوں نے ڈالے ہیں وسوسے کہ دلوں سے خوفِ خدا گیا
وہ پڑی ہیں روز قیامتیں کہ خیالِ روزِ جزا گیا
جو طلب پہ عہدِ وفا کیا، تو وہ قدرِ رسمِ وفا گئی
سرِ عام جب ہوئے مُدّعی، تو ثوابِ صدق و وفا گیا
وہ بُتوں نے ڈالے ہیں وسوسے کہ دلوں سے خوفِ خدا گیا
وہ پڑی ہیں روز قیامتیں کہ خیالِ روزِ جزا گیا
جو طلب پہ عہدِ وفا کیا، تو وہ قدرِ رسمِ وفا گئی
سرِ عام جب ہوئے مُدّعی، تو ثوابِ صدق و وفا گیا
Peace be on you!
It’s with extreme pleasure that I announce that the prestigious Exceptional Public Value Award is to be awarded to myself by Ms. Helen Brand, OBE, CEO ACCA (the largest accountancy body globally). I’ll share the details with you after receiving the award, Insha Allah.
I’m honored by this privilege and grateful to ACCA for the recognition of my:
“contributions in the field of Budget and Taxation including but not limited to
Last but not the least, I’m thankful to you all for your support and prayers particularly my parents, siblings, mentors, colleagues and friends.
Omer Zaheer Meer
Below is the the live program I participated in today at 92 News HD:
The following article has been published in the Sunday Edition of Pakistan Today, dated 7th September 2014
(For online version: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/09/06/featured/choose-the-best-available-option/ )
(For Published Version, Page 6: http://issuu.com/abidoon/docs/dna_issue_40/7?e=3820687/9210255 )
Learn from history
By: Omer Zaheer Meer
It was a harsh winter, like winters in Russia are. The mighty advancing army was not only unaccustomed but also ill-equipped to deal with the extremities of climate. The officer in charge contacted his commander in chief detailing the ground realities and proposing a retreat and re-assault in summer. The response was a firm no with orders to march on, citing that their forces had never retreated, defeating all the global forces till then. Soon, the same army was buried in the graveyard of history along-with the commander in chief and his empire.
This is not a fictional story but the real account of the turning point in the history of Adolf Hitler led Nazi Germany. This is not the only example, rather history is filled with such disastrous actions repeated by otherwise brilliant leaders. Refusing to realise ground reality and not saving one’s strength in adversities to fight back later often led to obliteration, as has been the law of nature.
Timing is crucial in politics. But the ongoing fiasco in Islamabad has been a comedy of errors, where political blunders were committed and key opportunities missed. For example, the whole crisis started with the Model Town tragedy for which there was no need or logical basis. Everything was under the government’s control with operation Zarb-e-Azb in place. Though certain PML-N sections claim there was a conspiracy in “police fire” and some firing from the Minhaj secretariat, the decision to send police force to “teach a lesson” to protestors was solely PML-N’s.
When angry protestors who clogged the streets of London were calling for trial and hanging of Tony Blair due to his invasion of Iraq, the British government did not fire, use tear gas or arrest them.
Similarly, there were many missed opportunities. The government denied some logical and basic demands despite making commitments. When the protestors led by Imran Khan were attacked by a mob led by the brother of sitting MPA of PML-N in the constituency of Khurram Dastagir – a powerful MNA deemed close to the PM – there was more bad blood. When the protestors landed with less than expected numbers due to various reasons in extreme weather conditions, key government ministers started mocking instead of showing goodwill by providing food and shelter to co-citizens and Mian Nawaz Sharif taking a delegation to meet Imran Khan at that time. Though some food was sent later on, the moment was missed, and it was returned.
As if that was not enough, brutal police action was used on protestors including women and children. The government’s claim that since protestors had gas masks and sticks, they were akin to dangerous terrorist’ makes one wonder about the state of mind of those in charge. Also an argument was constantly repeated that no one is allowed to protest with cranes, sticks and gas masks anywhere in the world and that prior permission for protests is always taken in the civilised world. Unfortunately even our ‘learned’ electronic media anchors failed to correct this false narrative.
There had been several protests in the west including UK, USA and France where protestors took to streets without any prior permission. The black rights’ movement is a famous part of American history while riots in cities of France including Paris are not too old, and who can forget the infamous million march in the streets of London that choked and effectively closed down the city. None of the above countries used containers to block their own cities or used deadly force to kill the protestors despite even serious havoc in the case of French protests. Yes the protestors are not expected to and should not have sticks or cranes but if we analyse honestly, what are they supposed to do in the face of brutal assaults by the state machinery and road-blocks using containers?
When angry protestors who clogged the streets of London were calling for trial and hanging of Tony Blair due to his invasion of Iraq, the British government did not fire, use tear gas or arrest them. Nor did they use containers to siege entire areas and their own cities. They let the protestors steam off and it ended peacefully. On the other hand when the French authorities used police force to try to quell protests, though avoiding live bullets or cranes for blockades, the protests turned violent and spiraled out of control. This should be a lesson for the government, to let protestors exercise their democratic right of protest instead of using fascist measures that turn protests violent.
When key organisers fail to provide even basic arrangements and when office-bearers could hardly pull out a 100th of the pledged numbers despite widespread support, Imran needs to re-evaluate his options.
Another unfortunate fact is that political divisions in Pakistan have reached the point where it’s believed there are only two views, ones’ own view and the wrong view. This needs to change. Opinion makers, analysts, anchors, leaders and even the general public needs to have an open heart and a receptive brain enabling them to listen and neutrally analyse facts.
The fact of the matter is that PAT never had a widespread following or legitimacy but PTI does command both. Unfortunately despite Imran Khan’s resilience, determination and honesty it has pushed itself in a situation where there are no truly winning options. In such a situation when most of the party is disenfranchised and internal issues warrant serious attention, when key organisers fail to provide even basic arrangements and when office-bearers could hardly pull out a 100th of the pledged numbers despite widespread support, Imran needs to re-evaluate his options.
At the time of writing this we’ve reached a political stalemate, with some positive indications from Shah Mehmood Quraishi’s eloquent address in the joint session of parliament. In the situation detailed above, and with a few dozen elected MNA’s, if Imran can ensure legislation inducing reforms and closing the loopholes in the system, get the election commission reformed and re-constituted with well-reputed and competent officials, and get an independent Supreme Court tribunal to investigate alleged rigging in 2013 elections, it’ll be a very good situation to be in for PTI under the circumstances and the only possible way out of the political impasse Pakistan finds itself in.
What PTI has achieved is unprecedented in Pakistan as thousands of people have braved extreme weather and continue to sit in for three weeks, sacrificing their jobs, family lives and personal comforts for the sake of a merit based system in Pakistan. Let’s hope all this was not for nothing.
The following article has been published in the Sunday Edition of Pakistan Today, dated 31st August 2014
(For online version: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/08/30/comment/kashmir-the-forgotten-jugular-vein/ )
(For Published Version, Page 9: http://issuu.com/abidoon/docs/dna_issue_39/9?e=3820687/9123742 )
What it still means to Pakistan
Just like all beautiful things in this world, Kashmir, the heaven on Earth has been a victim of its own charm. While most people in the sub-continent and world over know of the miseries of Kashmiris since 1947, their hardships and slavery has dated back long. It was the fateful year of 1820 when tyranny took over the beautiful region with Ranjeet Singh annexing it. However it was yet to see the worst. In 1846, following the defeat of Sikhs in the first Anglo-Sikh war, the so-called “Maharaja” Gulab Singh “purchased” Kashmir along with all its inhabitants for a paltry 7.5 million Rupees from none other than the torch bearer of civilization and human-rights, the then British Empire. After the worst possible atrocities and subjugation a nation has been subjected to in human history, Kashmiris saw ray of hope with the arrival of 1947.
A new Muslim state was been carved out in the subcontinent named Pakistan. The region comprising this new state shared natural, logistical, economic, cultural, religious as well historic ties with Jammu and Kashmir. The overwhelming majority of Kashmir at the time, according to some studies over 80% was Muslim. The masses believed it was their democratic right as well as natural to become part of Pakistan. However there was a catch. According to the Independence Plan the Indo-Pak region was divided on the basis of religious majority of Muslims and Hindus but the independent princely states were to decide their own faith but encourage to join India or Pakistan while taking into account geographical contiguity and the wishes of their people. Any disputes were to be resolved by holding plebiscites.
The subjugation of Kashmiris ultimately led to an internal revolt in the “Poonch” region against the “Dogra Raj” resulting in declaration of “Azad” Kashmir government. The cries for support against the ruthless Dogra oppressors were answered by the poorly armed Pashton tribes from the mountainous terrains of Pakistan, sharing a strong bond of religion. As a result Hari Singh asked for help from India and was forced to sign an alleged accession document as per Indian claims despite having already signed a “standstill” agreement with Pakistan.
Worried by Indian aggression, Quaid-e-Azam ordered the British commander-in-chief of Pakistan Army, General Gracey to send in Pakistan Army units to aid Kashmiris but he refused setting a despicable blot on his name. A few low-ranking Pakistan Army officers voluntarily joined the warring tribes and reached the outskirts of Srinagar. However unnecessary changes of command, lack of proper arms and ammunitions and deficiency in numbers of the rag-tag militiamen meant they were no match materially for the regular Indian Army. However their passion, skill and bravery they fought with led them to not only liberate a vast region but inflicted such damage that the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru himself took the matter to the United Nations (UN) requesting a cease-fire and asking for a plebiscite in Kashmir under the UN watch, accepting it to be a disputed territory.
Before proceeding further, let me share an interesting excerpt from a historic address with you: “It (Kashmir) is a people with a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Kashmir is not the property of either India or Pakistan. It belongs to the people of Kashmir, and the people of Kashmir alone will decide as to what their future affiliation and course of action will be”. The excerpt you just read is not said by any Pakistani or Kashmiri leader but these are words of the Prime Minister of India Mr. Nehru himself.
It is a sad tragedy that the so-called largest democracy in the world has enslaved an entire people against their will and back-tracked on its own commitments to not only them but the whole world for the seventh decade now. What’s more pitiful is the hypocrisy practiced by India. It annexed Hyderabad and Junagargh, both ruled by Muslim rulers despite the first declaring independence and the latter signing accession to Pakistan. India claimed that since the majority of the population was Hindu in both states, the independence and accession agreement do not hold. But when it came to Kashmir which was exactly a mirror image with a majority of Muslim population ruled by a non-Muslim ruler, India changed its own stance claiming the alleged accession agreement was to hold in this case. In effect, India practiced imperialist hypocrisy null of any principles. What’s more it even refuses to date to honor its own pledge of a plebiscite in Kashmir, which it made to the international community.
As of today, despite the partially successful 1948 liberation war and subsequent events including 1962 Indo-China war, the state of Jammu and Kashmir stands divided into three regions, the Indian-Occupied Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, the Pakistan-administered Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.
On its part, Pakistan fought several wars with India over the Kashmir dispute but missed some golden opportunities. During the 1962 Indo-China war, Kashmir was virtually “empty” of Indian Army and Pakistan was sent a message by Chinese to move in and take over what was rightfully theirs. However the dictator at the time, Field Marshal Ayub Khan let the opportunity slip. Earlier during the 1948 liberation war, Pakistan accepted a ceasefire when its tribal militia without support of regular Pakistan Army was inflicting serious damage to regular Indian Army, letting an opportunity to liberate Kashmir slip away.
Reading this all, you may be wondering why is Kashmir still so important to Pakistan and do Kashmiris still want to join Pakistan? While the latter can be determined by a plebiscite we can examine the first. All of Pakistan’s rivers flow from Kashmir. The Indian occupation has pursued controversial projects to implement a water control strategy designed to starve Pakistan of its lifeline of water supplies. The consequences of water scarcity require a detailed write-up but it can be safely said that it’ll put the very existence of Pakistan at risk.
It was not without reason that the wise Quaid-e-Azam said “Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan and no nation can allow its jugular vein to be held by the enemy”. Even if one was to think beyond the atrocities by Imperialist India warranting a compassionate response, an independent Kashmir with defense pacts would be better for both Kashmir and Pakistan compared to an Indian Occupied one. Pakistan should therefore continue to stand beside the brave Kashmiris who have given unprecedented sacrifices for freedom and lend all the support possible for their just cause.
The following article has been published in the Sunday Edition of Pakistan Today, dated 24th August 2014
(For online version: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/08/23/featured/pti-pat-vs-pml-n-sagacity-in-short-supply/ )
(For Published Version, Page 9: http://issuu.com/abidoon/docs/dna_issue_38/9?e=3820687/9038422 )
Take the third umpire’s advice seriously
A small problem that could’ve been resolved easily has been turned into a national crisis. It’s often said that to understand complex issues one should go back to the root-cause of the problem. The current political crisis began with Imran Khan’s very reasonable demands of investigating four selected constituencies for rigging and taking corrective action for the shortcomings. The government logically asked for same number of PTI won constituencies to be investigated too and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) readily agreed to that. Unfortunately there had been no concrete development on the issue since which has led to the stance of PTI getting much more stiffer with the ultimate demand now of PM Mian Nawaz Sharif’s resignation and mid-term polls under a reformed Election Commission after the alleged “culprits” of rigging in 2013’s General Elections are punished.
The government on its part was worried that if there were any issues to be found in the four constituencies, it may lead to the calls for mid-term polls as the legitimacy of the set-up would be called into questions. However the crisis has lead to exactly that situation and this could’ve perhaps been averted had the Government took positive actions before. What’s been interesting is the changing narrative of the incumbent Government which claimed that it was not authorized to and cannot open up the four constituencies after Chaudhary Nisar, the Federal Minister for Interior agreed to open up “40 constituencies” in National Assembly. However as the crisis peaked, the same Government proposed asking Supreme Court for forming a commission to investigate the allegations of rigging while there were also proposals of bringing “Ordinance” to open up the four constituencies initially selected for audit and verification by Mr. Imran Khan’s PTI.
Certain quarters claim that atleast some of the four key ministers, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Mr. Ahsan Iqbal and Federal Minister of Defense Khawaja Asif did not wish to let their “victories” be examined and as such used their influence to push the PMLN Government to a harder line by selling the above narrative within PMLN in order to ensure their own seats were not in danger.
It wasn’t as if the pressure of the campaign re four constituencies by PTI was sufficient to bring matters to the current boiling point. If we recall, things were actually looking quite comfortable for PMLN Government until that fateful incident of Model Town slaughter. Operation “Zarb-e-Azb” was announced, differences with Military Establishment were substantially reduced, public opinion was against protests during such an important operation, PTI had already announced cancellation of its Bahawalpur Jalsa while Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) was about to do so. Than somewhere, someone decided to “teach a lesson” to Mr. Qadri and set an example for opposition as accepted in less straighter words by ex-Minister for Law (Punjab) Rana SanaUllah during television programs. However the operation on Minhaj-ul-Quran cum PAT secretariat to remove barriers backfired and gave blood of unarmed civilians to the opposition. From there on, the anti-government movement gained momentum culminating into “Azadi” and “Inqilab” marches.
That momentum should make one wonder that how the opposition lost the steam going into the marches. PAT was always going to be the determined religious cult beefed up by the Minhaj associated youth and workers. It was PTI who was deemed the bigger player, the game-changer on its own. However over the past eight days what we’ve witnessed, though unprecedented in terms of the determination and zeal shown by PTI supporters, has left many surprised by a less than expected show of power by PTI. So let us examine what exactly went wrong?
Firstly the administration was ill-planned and organizational communication minimal if any. The arrangements were redundant. Several PTI’s office bearers left Islamabad on 15th owing to a lack of even basic arrangements, non-presence of party representatives/organizers and no-communication from party as to the expected arrival of the main procession led by Imran Khan. A prime example of the mismanagement was that despite the extreme weather forecast, the organizers didn’t bother to arrange for even a basic and cheap item like umbrellas which would not only have protected the participants from elements but also provided shade and sense of safety without the need to hold sticks. Furthermore post the infamous intra-party elections, the losing party workers who are in majority as only one of the five to ten contestants won, feel disgruntled. This majority was not taken on board or reached out to. As a result they didn’t attend or work for the success of the “Azadi March” nor did they ask their supporters to do so.
Against all mainstream analysis and despite all the internal setbacks and unprecedented failure of march organizers, Imran Khan’s own determination, resilience and charisma has done wonders in not only getting a very decent number of supporters out but motivating them enough to stay on the streets for an unprecedented eight days till now. Most of the analyst believed that PTI’s supporters were too soft to stay on roads for long and that too in extreme weather conditions. However the determination of highly motivated PTI cadre has been no less than PAT’s religious zealots.
This whole situation, however, has serious implications for the country. The pride and stubbornness of the Government has resulted in missing key moments for resolving the conflict. For fourteen months PTi kept asking for audit of just four constituencies which was ignored, the deadline by Imran Khan during Ramadan was also brushed aside and more foolishly instead of capitalizing on an initially weak show by PTI on arrival in Islamabad, PTI by mocked by key ministers of PMLN. PTI has since gained much of the lost ground. Khan has now repeatedly stated that he won’t accept anything sans PM’s resignation while PM is as likely to resign as Imran is of backing off his own words. The negotiations ended in cruel joke when Government suddenly decided to put up containers back and IG Islamabad was transferred for allegedly refusing to use force on protestors.
While PMLN rightly states that majority of the parliamentary parties are on its side, this stalemate virtually melting down the economy cannot go on forever. If this situation is not resolved amicably, the army will intervene which may even lead to wrapping up of the whole system. The responsibility for such a disaster would lie more with the incumbent government as not only it has the power, authority and responsibility but also more on stake than the protesting parties. It should therefore act more magnanimously to accommodate rather than ridicule PTI and PAT. Letting loose its own workers would only exacerbate the situation more. As the “third umpire” recently said let sagacity and maturity prevail.
The following is the original version of the article published in the Sunday Edition of Pakistan Today, dated 17th August 2014
(For online version: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/08/16/comment/thy-brothers-welfare-millat-thinkers-forum/ )
(For Published Version, Page 12: http://issuu.com/abidoon/docs/dna_issue_37__1_?e=3820687/8966077 )
A culture of research and development to seek knowledge is the path to reclaiming lost glory
There was a time Muslim world ruled the planet. Humanity was lead and shown the path in civilization encompassing all areas of life be it economy, astronomy, medical, diplomacy, trade, management, military studies, foreign affairs, art, literature, e.t.c. This was when rest of the world particularly the west was experiencing dark ages. This golden era for humanity led by Muslims illuminated the dark worlds of those left behind.
However since the fall of Muslim Spain and the worst persecution of Spanish Inquisition by extremist Christian fanatic Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand, the Muslim world has plunged deeper and deeper into an abyss. There are various reasons of this downfall and historians have written detailed accounts covering various aspects. One key element at the helm of all the problems has been the disassociation with research and development. A nation whose beginning was with “Iqra” meaning “Read” ignored the importance of seeking knowledge. The order to seek knowledge from mothers’ lap to grave (signifying importance of knowledge) got lost in the disillusionment with the vitality of knowledge. The carriers of the legacy of personalities like Al-Beruni who was seeking knowledge even on his death-bed, left seeking knowledge at the bottom of its priority list. It is not surprising then that the nations who took over the legacy of research and development to seek knowledge had been bestowed with ruling the world.
One key aspect of this knowledge based culture of these developed nations has been the development of independent and high-standard think-tanks. These think tanks vary by ideological perspectives, sources of funding, topical emphasis and prospective consumers. In developed countries not only the Governments but corporate sector funds the think tanks too. Their importance is realized to such an extent that many countries allow tax-exemptions to these institutions in addition to other incentives to promote a culture of research and knowledge seeking.
Pakistan like the rest of the Muslim world however has lagged behind in this area. Unfortunately the culture of research has not been properly developed in Pakistan. The value of research and development is highly under-rated if realized at all in the circles making key decisions. As if that was not enough, the few think-tanks that do exist are mostly handicapped by their patronage’s interests, mostly foreign. Their limitations due to foreign funding or from sources with vested interests results in disappointing results and questionable reputes.
It was against this backdrop and keeping the importance of independent think-tanks to the development of a nation in view, I along-with some key people sharing the thought started working towards addressing the situation by taking some positive action. After deliberations, it was decided that a step in the right direction would be the formation of an independent think-tank aspiring to international standards.
A team lead by Mr. Zaheer Ahmad Meer (Chairman Professionals’ Social Network & Senior Advocate) and comprising of Mian Khalid Habib Elahi (Advocate Supreme Court & ex- Deputy Attorney General Pun), myself (Mr. Omer Meer, Chairman Liaison Committee LTBA, Qualified FCA & Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist) and Mr. Wajih Ur Rehman (Agriculturalist and Social Worker) worked day and night to turn this dream of the first totally ingenious, independent and international-standard think-tank of entire Muslim world in Pakistan into a reality.
This led to the formation of the phenomenon called Millat Thinkers’ forum (MTF), the first totally ingenious, independent and international standard think-tank of not only Pakistan but entire Muslim world. The mission statement of Millat Thinkers’ forum (MTF) is Diagnose (the issues), Deliberate (on the different aspects and complexities) and Decode (to understand and recommend/develop a solution). These traits have been lacking and highly required not only in Pakistan but the entire Muslim world.
Millat Thinkers’ Forum‘s model involves quality research by a highly competent research team followed by monthly events where the best brains of the country are brought together to provide their inputs. The finalized reports then form the basis of MTF’s recommendations and sent to concerned departments, e.t.c. Its membership is focused on high quality induction to ensure accomplishment of the objective of meeting international standards. The members include top professionals, successful businessmen, scholars, media personalities, parliamentarians, social workers, academics, research scholars, students, e.t.c.
MTF has been working informally for some time and has even assisted some policy makers during this time. Information related to Millat Thinkers’ Forum including event information, pictures, videos, research and even finalized reports are now shared on Millat-Facebook (www.MyMFB.com), the largest social network ever by Muslims. However the growing demands and a desire to institutionalize led to the formal inauguration in Lahore.
I was honored to be tasked with organizing, managing and hosting the formal inaugural session which was graced by eminent personalities and top achievers from all walks of life who also became a part of the forum. The session consisted of three parts after Recitation of Holy Quran and “Naat”; the felicitation session, the keynote presentation on the topic of “ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham/Levant): Implications for Pakistan & the way forward” followed by contributions from distinguished attendees. A sumptuous Iftar dinner was served keeping in view the auspicious occasion of Ramadan. Some of the eminent members to grace the inaugural event included but were not limited to:
Many dignitaries including Mr. Hamid Khan, Mr. Asad Umar and Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali moved their engagements to attend the event. Honorable, Dr. A Q Khan who had prior family commitments sent his felicitation message for Millat Thinkers’ Forum in which he highly appreciated the endeavor and urged to continue the good work. Similarly Mr. Arif Nizami (renowned anchor, journalist and editor Pakistan Today) who was abroad sent his best wishes.
Patrons Mr. Zaheer Ahmad Meer and Mian Khalid Habib Elahi shared the importance of research and reasons for formation of the forum while I was honored to conduct the entire program along-with delivering the keynote presentation. General (R) Butt, Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali and Mr. Hamid Khan said the presentation was a highly expert-quality research work on the subject. Mr. Asad Umar pledged his support saying that this forum has the potential to become the best contribution to changing the fortunes of the nation. Mr. Arif Mirza, Mr. Absar Abdul Ali and Mrs. Ayesha Qazi said that MTF was the need of the hour. Walid Iqbal said that Diagnose, Deliberate & Decode is what this nation needs. Justice Bukhari, Sardar Arif and Mr. Hamid Zaman were confident that such endeavors can take us to the heights of glory. Mrs. Mehnaz Rafih said that only through such endeavors can we strive to achieve the Pakistan dreamt by Quaid and Iqbal. Mr. Khosa, Dr. Farzana and Dr. Nousheen all were impressed and hoped this will be the dawn of a new culture in Pakistan. Mr. Shahab Jafri presented his expert analysis on the situation and lauded the effort.
Overall the event was an astounding success and all the dignitaries not only pledged their support but appreciated the high quality of the research, attendees and management. The keynote presentation on ISIS was particularly praised. All in all, Pakistan once again took lead in showing the way forward to the Muslim world.