"Unity in Diversity - Promoting National Integration of Pakistan"
Commemorating the 76th Independence Day of Pakistan
Date: August 18, 2023
In commemoration of Pakistan’s 76th Independence Day Celebrations, Balochistan Think Tank Network (BTTN), Quetta, arranged an essay competition on the topic “Unity in Diversity: Promoting National Integration of Pakistan” for all the private and public sector universities of Balochistan. The competition was announced on BTTN’s social media platforms on July 19, 2023. The deadline for the submission of essays was August 7, 2023, which was later extended to August 10, 2023, due to an overwhelming response from the participants. On August 14, 2023, the winners were announced on the website and social media platforms of BTTN. Students currently enrolled in different universities in various BS, MA, and MPhil programs in social sciences, humanities, medical and engineering have participated in this competition. An overwhelming response of 30+ participants was received and evaluated critically as per the assessment criteria that was advertised. The objective of this inter-university essay competition was to engage and empower the youth of Pakistan in promoting national integration through the theme of “Unity in Diversity”. Based on the assessment, the top four contributors were invited to BTTN for the prize distribution ceremony held in BTTN Seminar Hall, BUITEMS, Quetta on Friday 18th August, 2023.
Vice Chancellor BUITEMS Quetta was the Chief Guest for this event while VC SBK and faculty members from University of Balochistan were also present amongst the participants. The program started with the national anthem and was moderated by Miss Samra Hamid, Research Officer, BTTN. It was followed by a presentation given by Dr. Maria Malik, Director of Research at BTTN, where she introduced BTTN and shed light on the rationale behind this competition. The first cash prize worth of 30,000 PKR was awarded to Ms Farida Gul from University of Balochistan, Quetta. The second cash prize worth of 20,000 PKR was presented to Mr Imran Ullah from University of Balochistan, Quetta. The third cash prize of 10,000 Rs PKR was awarded to Mr Abdul Kabeer from BUET, Khuzdar and a consolation prize was awarded to Mr Saif Ullah from University of Balochistan, Quetta.
While presenting her essay, first prize winner Ms Farida Gul highlighted that Pakistan’s diverse population, comprising various ethnic groups, is a testament to its rich heritage. She stated that the media industry plays a crucial role in shaping societal perceptions. By encouraging the production and promotion of films, television shows, and media content that represent diverse regional cultures, Pakistan can create a more inclusive media landscape. Mr. Saifullah Durrani while referring to Pakistan’s multi ethnic and multi religious population stated that Pakistan’s strength lies in its diverse population, which comprises of numerous ethnic groups with distinct languages and traditions. He further suggested that to fully embrace diversity, it is imperative to uplift marginalized communities that have historically faced discrimination and socio-economic disparities.
In his address, the Chief Guest, Vice Chancellor BUITEMS, Prof. Dr. Khalid Hafeez, shared his views on national integration and appreciated BTTN on picking up this much needed theme. He suggested that diversity must also include the gender as well. And if we want to celebrate excellence, it has to be on the basis of merit stating that one should become Shaheen of Iqbal. He congratulated the winners and said that this nation belongs to the youth; they must play a promising role in taking it forward. There was a formal interactive session with an exchange of ideas on the subject with the Faculty of Research.
Moreover, Brig. Agha Ahmad Gul (R), Head of BTTN in his concluding remarks drew an analogy and said that just like an empty glass can be filled with whatever, similarly diversity can be used positively or negatively; the choice is all ours. The session was concluded with the distribution of cash prizes and certificates of appreciation among the winners and souvenirs to the Chief Guest, a group photo and refreshments.