LAHORE – Criticising the derailment of democracy by repeated military interventions in the country’s history and overall social and political structure of the society, Syed Fakhar Imam, the former Speaker of the National Assembly, has said that change cannot come to Pakistan by slogans but by taking practical steps to maintain law and order and to achieve social and economic development.

“Political parties make manifestos but they became silent at the time of action,” regretted the veteran politician while presiding over a seminar on “Political and Social Change-Role of Media” at Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan (HNPIP) here on Wednesday.

PTI Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood and analyst Salman Abid were the other speakers. HNPIP Director Absar Abdul Ali earlier gave a detail introduction of the topic and introduced the guest speakers.

“We don’t need role models now, it is a time to act and we have to find solution of problems by ourselves,” urged Syed Fakhar Imam, the central leader of Pakistan Peoples’ Party.

Giving examples of countries like Singapore, Malaysia, India and others, which in past were facing challenges have become world’s prosperous nations; he stressed the need to rethink our policies. He mourned the lack of seriousness by the majority of leading figures from all segments of the society towards analysing and addressing the core issues which according to him were unemployment, law and order, weak social and political culture, illiteracy and above of all the disturbing economy. Giving reference of the recent debate of the US Congress on Balochistan issue, Fakhar stated ‘Other nations are involving themselves in these issues as we are leaving a void and not address them ourselves.’ He was disappointed over the frail of the prevailing education system and said the lack of research culture in universities was responsible for it. He stated that only people have had the right to send a democratic government home.

Shafqat Mehmood, speaking on the occasion, highlighted the role of media in bringing awareness. However, bureaucrat-turned-politician, believed the media, especially the electronic media, was passing through the evolution phase and it would take time to mature. PTI leader thought media played a vital role in bring awareness to the people against corruption and dictatorship. “No one can cast doubt on Imran Khan’s intention and determination and media has played a key role to make Khan a beloved leader.

 Shafqat was confident in saying that his party would bring real change to the country and all the PTI top leadership was busy in formulate roadmaps in this regard. “PTI is going to arrange a national energy conference at Islamabad on Feb 26 besides we are also working to make comprehensive plans and recommendations on other issues the country is facing,” he said while replying to various questions of the participants of the seminar.

Mehmood saw the country’s future as bright, hundreds of overseas Pakistanis were willing to invest billions of dollars in Pakistan but they needed trust worthy government in the country. He said that his party would establish a corruption free government if the people voted for them.

Salman Abid said that media should help bringing change to the country.

Mass education, investigation, responsibility and linkage with the civil society were the key fields according to Salman, where media needed to work.