The British Empire may have yielded some benefits for the world but at the same time it left behind many problems for its former colonies which are still grappling with it. Taking part in the prestigious Oxford Union debate last evening, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan said there could be many sound arguments supporting the legitimacy and positive contribution of the British Empire for the world but a cost benefit analysis of its effects on the indigenous nations and their cultures and economy leads to the conclusion that it was not a good thing. 'We can trace roots of many of the problems to the course of actions adopted by the British during the Raj as well as at the time when it was parting away from the colonies in the wake of independence movements in the post world war 11 scenario, he told the audience during the debate titled This House believes that the British Empire as a good thing. The debate is considered a high profile event of the University academic life with participation of personalities of international fame. The other participants of debate were historians Dr. Lawrence James of Merton College, Dr. Piers Brendon of Churchill College, Prof. Eric Grove, Professor of Naval History at Salford, Kwadi Kwarteng, Conservative Party Prospective Candidate and historian Michael Wood of Oriel College. Opposing the motion, the High Commissioner argued that in the zest of imperialism the British took certain actions which culminated in the economic and educational backwardness still prevailing in the former colonies. He mentioned that at the time East India Company began its contacts with the sub continent, the region was culturally and economically rich area, far more prosperous and culturally affluent than the British Isles. 'Raj destroyed the flourishing textile industry of India and went up to the level of mutilating skilled weavers of fine Muslin cloth. India was Jewel in the Crown but all its wealth was plundered including famous diamond Koh-i- Noor. Mr. Hasan added that Madrasas system was also introduced in the time of British Raj to which not only educational backwardness is attributed but also roots of religious extremism. Referring to terrorism and extremism, the High Commissioner said that Kashmir issue was left behind by the British Raj which is an ongoing conflict and contributing factor for militancy. Similarly the issue of Palestine can also be related to conception of Al-Qaeda.. He also referred to overthrow of elected government of Prime Minister Mussadaq in Iran which ultimately led to rise of religious extremism in the region. Dr. James and Prof. Grove who spoke in favour of the motion argued that the British Empire helped in spreading enlightenment, technological advancement, economic development, democracy , multi cultural world and brought different nationalities together by binding them through common language that is English and games like cricket. They gave examples of the world leaders including those from India and Pakistan who were educated in Britain and were able to lead their nations on the basis of values that they learnt from British system. Dr. Piers Brendon and High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan who opposed the motion held the view that the Empire was not a good thing even if judged on moral grounds as imperialism is always associated with the exploitation of resources of indigenous people and it suppresses the natural evolution of cultures and economies and history is full of coercive and oppressive actions taken by the imperialist forces. The proposition was concluded by Kwasi Kwarteng who said that the benefits of British Empire should not be judged on the basis of cost benefit analysis instead it should be seen in the context of present globalization and economic and technological advancement which is being shared by entire world . Historian Wood who concluded the proposition gave examples of the erosion of cultures and identities of the nations who were colonized by the British and cruel actions taken by the Raj for its economic gains. The house opposed the motion by 242 to 131 votes.