Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!
A: Born and raised in Pakistan where people bleed green and optimistic despite of its depriving years. Historically it has been a place of oldest civilizations, rich cultures, arts & infrastructure and beautiful traditions. Pakistan got independence from British India in 1947 on the basis of two Nations (Hindu – Muslim) theory but still after its 71 years, the country is in struggling stage where political system has erroneously corrupted. Last decade was extremely horrifying due to terrorism and extremism.
We have lost enough in this engrossed war of terror but it is also a fact that Pakistan Army with the support of nation has successfully eliminated the terrorism from the land. Pakistan is a geopolitical land bestowed with many seasons, cultures, sceneries, agriculture, youth talent and opportunities and is eagerly seeking for its future leaders. Next decade is of great hope and expectations for its prosperous and sustainable future. My life story is very simple. Rumi said “Life is a balance between holding on and letting go”.
I am adaptive and my friends say I am least hyper. In my 25 years of life, family experience was not very pleasant but religious and cultural norms shaped my spiritual being. University experience has made me a changed person. I always feel lack of support from teachers, institutions and government in my academic and professional life. Life for me is more than a routine; eating, earning money, vacations and sleeping cycle. Working for the noble causes, sustainability and peace is a must, to know the value of life and work for better tomorrow.
Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?
A: We have entered in a materialistic age where our capacity to perceive the truth is fading day by day. The importance today is not given to human dignity and objective values. Abortion, sexual orientation and reproductive choices are more important issues for so called leaders and NGOs than human dignity, brutal ethnic cleansing and human development. The world leaders are imposing wars on poor countries for power game and promoting their personal interests.
I thought of a better world in which synergies of all nations are united for common goals, where respect is given to human dignity irrespective of their cultures and religions. A better world is one in which scientific revolution and exploration is sustainably conducted for human benefits, where healthy debates have more place than hate speeches. Human dignity and objective values should have the core idea in a better world.
Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?
A: I am living in a society in which poor are born to serve rich, where corruption has taken over the nerves of society. Corruption has badly damaged the foundations of our society. Political leaders have failed to deliver prosperity and sustainability to our society. The problem is not the law but the lawmakers who have no concern with public interest and common good.
Pakistan is currently witnessing greatest number of youth population in his history according to the UN report but the participation of youth in political and socio-economic system is neglectable. Skilled and educated youth is at home due to miss management in Human Resource while public offices are held by corrupt bureaucrats and secretaries.
Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?
Life is full of struggles especially when you are born in lower class. The complexity of facing and competing with elite in every walk of life is not less than a challenge. You cannot stand on your grounds and work for the long term goals in life unless you get stability in terms of financial and family life. I am elder brother in my siblings so I couldn’t work explicitly for my dreams due to limitations and responsibilities. One big hurdle is behavior of people and other is uncertainty where to go due to lack of support. Life is a journey, a test and a continuous struggle in this world for hereafter.
Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?
A: To bridge the gap between current and future generation of leaders is a beautiful idea of GTF. Mentors are already successful in their personal and professional life that’s why they are great help in leading passionate youth, their career development and networking opportunities.
Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?
A: Life is a journey in which matters; how you deal with others, what choices you make and what you earned from life in the end. It’s a test whose result will be announced and choices will be questioned one day.
Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!
A: Eidhi Foundation is a great name in Pakistan. It has also the largest volunteer ambulance system in the world with 24-hour emergency assistance. It works in many thematic areas of human development. The life story of its founder is also worth reading.
Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are made towards gender equality?
A: Women in Pakistan are facing many difficulties and oppression especially in rural areas. Their socioeconomic participation is very limited. They are vulnerable in education and health care sector. Many NGOs and government programs are at work but they couldn’t do anything significant for rural women.
Q: Athena40 is the first ever global selection of the top 40 women forward thinkers, commentators, activists, authors, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators. Can you think of a truly innovative and forward-thinking woman from your country that you wish to nominate for the Athena40 global list?
A: Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations is a Pakistani diplomat, amazing personality and global thinker. I will want to see her in Athena40 global list.
Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!
A: Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever has not kindness has not faith. Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave.
Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.
A: It's your road and you're alone. Other may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.