Dedicated Partners - 30 Years of Project work in Pakistan
Endurance and patience are hallmarks of the international work of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). Over the years, the Foundation has established strong bonds of friendship with political friends and partners. Once more, this is evident in Pakistan, the strategically so important nation of South Asia, where the Foundation has just celebrated the 30th anniversary of successful project work.
The Islamabad office had rolled out a comprehensive program. Coming from New Delhi, the seat of the Regional Office, Regional Director Dr. Ronald Meinardus engaged with partners and friends. In the many meetings, he expressed FNF’s appreciation for the work done and inquired about new ideas and innovative projects to promote liberalism.
On the occasion of the anniversary, the Foundation sponsored special events in Karachi and Islamabad. In Karachi, Dr. Meinardus attended a workshop of long-time partner Shehri. “I am very impressed by the dedication of this citizens’ organization”, the Foundation’s official said after meeting the board of directors.
Another highlight was the interaction at the School for Leadership (SOL), a group of social entrepreneurs that aim at helping the young generation improve their chances on the labor market through innovative trainings and coaching.
“Liberalism on the Defensive” was the title of a seminar with academicians, civil society leaders and media people who are members of the Foundation’s alumni group. In Islamabad, the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) joined the celebrations. SCCI is one of the oldest and arguably the most prominent regional partners of FNF. Its Secretariat is hosted in Islamabad.
The climax of the 30 years’ anniversary celebration was a well-attended reception graced by politicians, media people, civil society leaders and diplomats. Here, Country Director Dr. Almut Besold, who had just returned from maternity leave, and the Regional Director welcomed the many well-wishers. Apart from the usual pleasantries, the meeting was an occasion for networking and political dialogue.
Dr. Meinardus, once more, formally expressed his gratitude to the partners and also the government of the host nation for the cooperation and hospitality: “It would not have been possible to continue without their support”, he said.
Summarizing his impressions, Dr. Meinardus published a commentary titled “Pakistan’s Shrinking Liberal Minority” (http://www.theglobalist.com/pakistan-shrinking-liberal-minority/) which also talks about the many challenges our partners are facing in that country.