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AKEPB seminar on development 

CHITRAL, 06 Nov, 07:  The Aga Khan Economics Planning Board for Pakistan (AKEPB) in collaboration with the Imami Ismaili Council Chitral organized a seminar on  Development Opportunities and Challenges of Chitral held here in a local hotel. Zainullah Khan Special Finance Secretary of NWFP was chief guest on the occasion who applauded the efforts of the AKEPB and the Ismaili council for this initiative. Experts and intellectuals presented their papers on economics, social and cultural development in the seminar on the prospective of social and economic development in the region. District Nazim Chitral Haji Maghfirat shah was chairing the inaugural session of the seminar. This activity is one part of the series of productive events arranged by various agenciecs of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan 49th Hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of Ismaili community.

The primary objectives of the event was to sensitize the key stakeholders and relevant institutions of the future development of Chitral particularly in the wake of increasing investment opportunities in the district and initiation of long term development projects such as Lawari Tunnel, which would provide the district with all weather route for the first time in history of Chitral. The seminar was focused on potential of economics, social and cultural development in the district and capacity gaps in relevant institutions to respond to the emerging challenges with regard to access of the local people to the benefits of economic development.

The papers read during the seminar also identified the key issues, challenges and strategic measures associated with integrated development of the district to accelerate t he pace of development without affecting the robust social structure, unique cultural setup and peaceful political environment of the region. The key stakeholders including representatives of Civil Society, leaders of community organizations, elected representatives from district government and government functionaries participated in the discussion and the forum developed a consensus about the potential roles of development players and choosing policy options for formulating long term development plan for the district. As resource persons keynote speakers from national academic and development institutions provided the participants with basic knowledge and analytical framework to facilitate them to reflect on the development problems of Chitral and provided their inputs to design an integrated development framework. This event also provided the decision makers from public sectors, market and civil society with an opportunity to think collectively for accelerated economic growth and social development in the region with particular focus on reducing persistent poverty and history long gender inequalities.

Addressing the ceremony District Chitral warned strictly that no one would be allowed to violate and discriminate the peaceful atmosphere of Chitral. He assured AKDN for his fully support and hailed their initiative for economic development in the district. Those who presented their papers were Professor Dr. Shahjehan Syed Chairman Journalism Department Peshawar University, Dr. Nasir Ali Khan Director Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar, Inaytullah Faizi, Sherzad Ali Haider Manager Monitoring and Evaluation of AKRSP, Afzal Aman president Aga Khan regional council Upper Chitral, Miraj Khan Director, EME, Muzzaffar Ahmad Qureshi, Kamran Rehman Khan DCO Chitral, Sultan Shah Distt Naib Nazim and Munawar S. Kassim Chairman Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for Pakistan. A large number of people belonging to all walks of life including women folk participated the seminar. (GH Farooqi)





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