Alternate Solutions Institute organized 8th residential workshop at Khanaspur this summer from 17-21 August. The event provides an opportunity to university students, young entrepreneurs and fresh managers to participate in diverse activities. Besides, train- ing they hike, network and involve in many other creative activities.
The institute has appointed coordinators to remain engaged with students and represent institute on different university campuses.
This year, the institute received over hundred applications of aspirants who wished to become the part of activity. Inter- views and telephonic conversations with the applicants were held. After a through and rigorous selection process, the in- stitute handpicked 34 applicants for the workshop from across the country.
The hilly station offers a place of solitude with many benefits such as slow internet speed and missing cellular network’s signals which make the area least disturbing from the outside world. The participants faced many physical challenges and reaching spring and waterfall down the hill were few of them.
The Khanaspur 8th residential workshop has become a flagship event of the institute. The workshop spread over five days. On first day, participants traveled from their homes to Khanaspur. This year participants came from Peshawar, Lahore, and Rawalpindi. There were two Afghani students of Islamia Col- lege Peshawar who also participated in the workshop.
Everyone very focused
The resource persons for the workshop were Dr Khalil Ahmad founder Alternate Solutions Institute, Dr Raza Ullah President ASI, Ali Salman Executive Director PRIME Institute and Zia Banday Direc- tor RIME Institute. Besides, Sohaib Jamali a senior journalist from Islamabad also participated in the workshop. The participating group represented a diverse set and included lawyers, journalists, students, entrepreneurs and youth activists.
In the opening session, participants brainstormed to identify major problems faced by the country. After a thorough discussion few common issues were identified including the prevalent poverty, corruption, infla- tion, power shortage, population, financial mismanagement, and bad governance in Pakistan. The participants were asked about the myths be- hind these issues. Dr Khalil linked identified problems with right-based society. He introduced participants with the basics of negative and posi- tive rights. Dr Khalil also attributed certain economic woes in Pakistani history and the influence of society-state relation on economy.
Debating in breakout groups
On the second day of workshop, participants were introduced with basics of economics specifically factors contributing to economic freedom. A question was raised in the discussion about association of political and economic freedom by a par- ticipant. Ali Salman explained this relation with the troubled political and economic history of Pakistan and the industrial and economic situation in the country during those seventy years.
Discussions in the coffee break
On the third day of seminar, a lengthy discussion was made regarding Pakistan political and economic situations. The participants mainly asked about how policies should be formulated keeping in view Paki- stani context. Dr Raza Ullah answered these questions. He explained it with the Lawrence Reed’s sound principles of policy formulation. Dr Kha- lil Ahmad also provided philosophical explanation to such societal complexities.
Dr Khalil Ahmad conducted a comprehensive question-answer session. As a tradition, prize for best participant was given to two persons Tariq Marwat and Faisal for their active involvement during the workshop.
Course Content of the training program:
A discussion on the current economic problems of Pakistan and their causes, such as: Inflation, Unemployment, Poverty, etc.
Bases of Freedom, Philosophy of Rights; The Concept of Natural and Inalienable Rights, Fundamental Rights in Pakistan Economic and Political Freedom, Definition of Economic Freedom; Elements of Economic Freedom; Implications of Economic Freedom, How Economic Freedom relates to Political Freedom? The Nature of the Relationship; Can one Survive without the other? Can Economic Freedom en- sure Political Freedom?, How the relationship between Economic and Political Free- dom fares in Pakistan?, How Economic Freedom is related to Democracy.
Course Content of the training program:
Basic Economics: Defining Economics; Ten Key Elements of Economics; Free Market Economy; Free Trade; Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy.
Conditions of Economic Freedom: Protection of Person and Property; Protection of Property Rights: Physical Property Rights and Intellectual Property Rights; Freedom of Contract; Rule of Law.
Pakistan and Economic Freedom: The State of Economic Freedom in Pakistan; The Score and Ranking of Pakistan in the Economic Freedom of the World 2010 Annual Report, A Study and Analysis of Pakistan’s Scoring in various Areas and Components of Economic Freedom Report; What measures should Pakistan adopt to improve its Score in various Areas and components.
Alternate Solutions Institute acknowledges the unfaltering support of NFS in supporting the efforts of the ASI to promote rule of law, economic freedom, and establishment of an entrepreneurial society in Pakistan.