ISLAMABAD (Monday, December 17, 2018): Leading economist, politicians, journalists, family members and friends, and foreign policy and development experts celebrated the successes and achievement of Sartj Aziz as living legend of Pakistan.
Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Advisor to Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity of Pakistan said that Sartaj Aziz has the competency, compassion, commitment and character to turn around the things. Sartaj is a man of character who would never compromise on his principles, he added. He was speaking at a special seminar titled ‘A Tribute to a Living Legend: Celebrating Life and Work of Mr. Sartaj Aziz’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), here at Islamabad.
Dr Ishrat said it is our usual attitude that we often admire our legend after their demise, but SDPI’s this effort to honor our living legends in their lives is commendable. Pakistan needs politicians like him, and those who have such attributes. Sartaj Aziz deserves to be a president of Pakistan, which is least that this country owes to him, he added.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that one proof of living nations is that they honour and respect the creative geniuses living among them. He said that Pakistan should also celebrate its greats and consider it a source of optimism in society. Legends series was started to invite role models to hear them and to disseminate their experience to the youth, who have restricted themselves to tabs and mobiles, he added.
Dr. Shahid Hamid, Former Governor Punjab said that for more than six decades of dedicated services, no Pakistani could have served this country better than as Sartaj Aziz whose contributions to the development of this nation are matchless. He said that Sartaj Aziz is embodiment of knowledge, dedication, compassion and human values. The economic reforms programs, social action program, National Rural Support Program (NRSP), Paistan Poverty Alliviation Fund (PPAF) and National Finance Commission Award 1991 are few of his big achievements, he added. He further went the extend and said that not even a taint and hint of scandal is attached to the name of Srtaj Aziz’s name, which is above all traits of his life long struggle.
Dr. Hafeez A. Pasha, Former Finance Minister said that Sartaj Aziz as Finance Minister was a very capable captain and never lost his cool even in difficult situation. He said Sartaj Aziz has incredible capability and intellect as well as grip and authority on the subject of economy and foreign affairs.
Shoaib Sultan Khan, Chairman Rural Support Programs Network (RSPN) said that my first introduction to Sartaj Aziz was through his book titled ‘Rural Development in China’, which I used to consult while implementing Agha Khan Rural Support Programme in Gilgit Baltistan. He said that Safrtaj Aziz is a rare human being, who is not a politician material but true example of how politician should be. Salima Hashmi, Former Head of National college of Arts said that Sartaj Aziz is an inspiring figure, a dreamer and a politician and a man of principle who is a great advocator of human rights.
Jallil Abbas Jilani, Former Ambassador of Pakistan to USA said that great man known by their knowledge, integrity and dedication to the social services and Sartaj Aziz has the all the those qualities which distinguish him. He said that Sartaj Aziz recognized as consensus builder and builder of institutions. His performance was outstanding in every field, be it finance minister, foreign minister or minister of food and agriculture, he added. Saleem Safi,Senior Journalist and Anchorperson said that Sartaj Aziz contribution in FATA reforms was tremendous and out of the box job, which would be remembered in history. Dr. Adil Najam, Dean Boston University said that Sartaj Aziz should have been my president at least twice which in fact could elevate the institution of presidency. He said that Sartaj Aziz should be a development minister instead of a Foreign Minister.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman Higher Education Commission said that Sartaj Aziz is a repository of knowledge and talking to him like talking to Google. Sartaj has the ability to bring people together and build consensus, he said, adding that Sartaj is role model for civil servants. Dr. Sania Nishter, Chairperson BISP said that Sartaj Aziz is a reformist, who has the ability to reform and build institutions. She said that Sartaj Aziz has unique attributes of integrity, acumen, attitude, loyalty and vision, which distinguish him as great human being. Shahid Javed Burki,Former Vice-president of World Bank said that Sartaj Aziz is a man of passion who’s life long struggle revolves around improving the lives of vulnerable segment of the society. Khurram Dastgir, PMLN MNA said that Sartaj Aziz is a model of integrity and meeting with him would make you better person. Farhatullah Babar PPPP leader said that Sartaj Aziz is one of among few parliamentarians who demonstrated the respect for the institution of the parliament. He said that Sartaj never told a lie or mislead the parliament.
Ambassador (Retd) Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairperson, Board of Governors, SDPI while giving vote of thanks said Sartaj Aziz has greater commitment to this nation and always tried to lift the society.
Sartaj Aziz was overwhelmed by the remarks of panelists and termed it as emotional occasion of his life. Sartaj said that he has both successes and disappointments to share. He said that the real secret of his successes was his sense of commitment to certain ideals. The guiding principle of his career was search for vision which helps him look beyond routine parameters. He said that the most important thing in one’s life is the impact one able to make on other people lives. While sharing disappointments throughout his life, Sartaj said that owing to recurrent political instability, Pakistan failed to achieve the dream of fastest growing economy of South Asia. He said it was our collective failure to build a strong and stable democracy, which resulted in lost of East Pakistan. Pakistan can survive as a dynamic and viable political entity only through a genuine democratic framework based on strong institutions and the rule of law, he added. He suggested that to meet the institutional challenges, we need to strictly follow the merit criteria, stop political interference, giving due importance to professionals and one needs to work with passion for Pakistan not for money.
At the end, Sartaj Aziz was awarded with life-time achievement award presented to Sartaj Aziz by SDPI’s Dr Abid Suleri