Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) The Public Speaking Society (PSS) at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi hosted the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, at a panel discussion on ‘Eastbound – A Talk for Culture Fostering Future’, at Model United Nations IBA Karachi (MUNIK XII).
Inaugurated in 2008, MUNIK is an entirely student-run, non-profit event which provides a platform for young, bright minds to debate on diverse issues from across the globe. With this year’s theme, “Impact through Inclusion”, MUNIK XII strives to continue its legacy of discourse, diversity, and diplomacy.
The panel of speakers included, the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi; Executive Director IBA, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, Associate Professor, School of Economics and Social Sciences, IBA, Dr. Huma Baqai; and Visiting Faculty and Patron PSS, Ms. Nadia Sayeed. Attendees included, Manager IBA PSS, Zara Imran; Director General MUNIK XII, Syed Osama Zaidi; members of the IBA faculty and administration, MUNIK Host Team members and delegates of the conference.
The aim of this session was to discuss the Eastern political landscape and the role played by forums such as MUNIK to encourage discourse about pressing current issues.
Dr. Zaidi delivered a warm welcome address and said that the IBA promotes inclusivity and diversity and that the students are given admission based on merit. Furthermore, He added that 25% of the IBA students receive some form of financial assistance. He also apprised the audience of IBA’s journey from a business school to to a multi-disciplinary Institute with 5000 students and around 150 faculty members. Dr. Zaidi also stressed upon the importance of dialogues and discourses that result in peaceful settlements.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Baqai discussed the pressing current conflicts in the world, particularly highlighting the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. She urged the audience to recognize the importance and relevance of international organizations and the role of conferences, such as MUNIK XII, to teach students crucial skills including negotiations, diplomacy, and conflict resolution. She concluded her speech with a powerful statement, “Competition is good, but cooperation is better”.
Addressing the audience, Dr. Alvi expressed his delight at addressing delegates at an Institute that promotes merit. He commended the IBA and MUNIK team. The esteemed President spoke in detail on the importance of communication in today’s world, and how one should always remain empathetic towards other’s experiences. He added that communication is the window to one’s mind.
On current political events, he expressed his sympathy for the people of Ukraine, expressing Pakistan’s stance of engaging in dialogue and striving for a peaceful solution to resolve the conflict. To punctuate his statement, he shared glimpses of historical peace movements with the audience. The President also shared that historically and in the modern world, people of color have always been treated differently to their western counterparts, citing events such as the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The President provoked the audience, especially the young delegates of MUNIK, to ponder the role of international organizations and how they can be improved by learning crucial lessons from history.
Ultimately, the President’s speech accentuated the need for morality and humanity to remain at the forefront during international conflicts. He lastly stated the importance of a platform like MUNIK XII to amplify young Pakistani voices.