Islamabad, December 8, 2021—UNDP Pakistan hosted the third webinar of its Pakistan Inequality Debate series today. These webinars have been held to discuss the findings of the Pakistan National Human Development Report (NHDR) 2020: The Three Ps of Inequality: Power, People, and Policy, which was launched by Pakistan’s Prime, Minister Mr. Imran Khan, in April this year.

 

 

The webinar was entitled “Power as a Driver of Inequality: Power, Privilege, Preference: What Causes Inequality?’. The session included Mr. Knut Ostby, Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan; Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Former Advisor to the PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity; Lt Gen Tariq Khan, HI(M) (Retd), former Chief Executive & Managing Director, Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited; and Mr. Harris Khalique, Secretary-General, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The session was moderated by senior journalist and author Ms. Nasim Zehra.

In his welcoming remarks, UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative, Mr. Knut Ostby, spoke about citizen power in the context of nudging the country towards more equitable practices. “The enduring insight of the NHDR 2020 is this: Power isn’t just the ability to gain preferential treatment, exploit your network for benefits, or lobby for your interests. Each one of us has power in one form or another, and it is how we wield that power that will ultimately define the Pakistan that we live in,” said Mr. Ostby.

The panel discussion explored the role of power in reinforcing inequality in the country, discussing themes relating to poverty, economic growth, governance, policy reforms, social inclusion, and more. Dr. Ishrat Hussain stated that Pakistan needs a ‘whole of society’ approach that champions local governance if it is to succeed in its inequality reduction efforts. In a similar vein, Mr. Harris Khalique spoke about the need to treat the constitution as the moral and legal guiding framework of Pakistan, in order to ensure an equitable and inclusive society. General Tariq Khan highlighted the importance of looking to regional models of growth to see how this success can be replicated in Pakistan.

UNDP’s Pakistan Inequality Debates have explored themes related to inequality in Pakistan, with dialogues and advocacy events at the national, provincial, and regional levels, to deconstruct the mechanisms of inequality in the country and take steps towards realizing a more equal Pakistan.

The NHDR 2020 on Inequality can be viewed here.

For additional information, please contact Ayesha Babar at ayesha.babar@undp.org  or +92 (51) 835 5650

 

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