Khurram Dastgir Khan is a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. He was previously the Minister for Defense and Minister for Foreign Affairs from August 2017 to May 2018. This interview is part of a series for the January Issue of Global Village Space magazine looking at the next decade for Pakistan – its strategic challenges and opportunities (2021-30).
The Pakistan I will be striving for in the next ten years will, Inshallah, be a country at peace within and at peace with the world in 2031—self-assured of our democracy, secure in our defence, and with malice towards none. It would be a Pakistan that will have sustained GDP growth rates of 7+% each year for a decade. Authoritarianism and extra-constitutional influences would stand purged from Pakistan’s political DNA. In 2031, Pakistan would be a republic worthy of the name.
Our Islamic Republic would acknowledge, value, and protect minorities and women; and would safeguard citizens’ liberties, political dissent, and cultural expression. I visualize a homeland that would offer equality of opportunity to all its citizens regardless of province, gender, caste, language, religion, or creed.
I imagine Pakistani universities and companies that create new knowledge—institutions that would foster open minds and open markets. My vision is of a Pakistan that would have modernized its agriculture thoroughly by 2031, becoming a bread-basket for the Middle East, Central Asia, and western China.
I dream of a society that will be open to the world and that values knowledge; a society that would have learned to take care of its environment and natural resources, a pluralistic Pakistani society.
The above is a dream but dreamt with open eyes. It is a dream we can all endeavor for the sake of our children. Let’s. transform Pakistan into a country we can all be proud of; a Pakistan, Jinnah would be proud of in 2031.