A two-day international conference on “Nation Building in Pakistan Prospects and Challenges” jointly organized by Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Education and Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD), of International Islamic University (IIU) commenced on Wednesday at Quaid-e-Azam Auditorium, Faisal Masjid Campus, Islamabad. Eminent scholars of national and international repute in education, sociology and mass media are participating in the conference. In different sessions of the conference, national and international experts, researchers, academicians and intellectuals discussed various challenges and solutions in the nation building process of Pakistan. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony Mufti Abdul Shakoor, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has said that educational institutions are vital for nation building. Federal Minister lauded the role of International Islamic University specially in building the national narrative of peaceful Pakistan across the globe. Mufti Abdul Shakoor underscored the importance of the universities in solution of the problems, challenges of society and nation building process by giving examples from the regime of Hazrat Omer Farooq RA. He opined that Islamic economic system yields the creation of best society for nation building. He stressed that debates on this vital topic are the need of the hour while educational institutions are the best constructive platforms and universities must take such initiatives to solve the problems of our nation. Keynote speakers of inaugural session Prof. Dr. Rasul Bakhsh Rais from LUMS and Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui from Lahore School of Economics shared the challenges in nation building in Pakistan. Acting President, IIUI Prof. Dr. Nabi Bux Jumani, Vice President, (Academics), Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Sarwar, Dean Faculty of Education, Directors, senior faculty members and a large number of male and female students also attended the inaugural day of the two day conference. Dr. Rasul Bakhsh Rais, highlighted important factors of political and economic systems of the world and role of state in nation building. He said that a stable state has a stable nation. Dr. Rasul Bakhsh gave various examples of European nations on this occasion. He said that Islam has provided us with true directions and a way forward for nation building because Islam plays a fundamental role in giving us independence. Dr. Rasul opined that divisions in a society are challenges in nation building. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui in his keynote address said that knowledge is a key indicator in nation building. Dr. Shahid discussed the significance of education and also talked about cultural diversity of nations across the globe. He explained that the role of state, education and culture is vital for building a nation. He enlightened on potential risks, prevailing problems in Pakistan and ground realities on this occasion. He opined that there is a dire need to realize that a better education and stable political system is imperative for nation building in Pakistan. Prof. Dr. Nabi Bux Jumani Acting President, IIUI speaking during the inaugural session said that under the leadership and vision of Prof. Dr. Hathal Hamoud Alotaibi, Worthy President of International Islamic University Islamabad the university will keep playing its due role. He said IIUI will stand side by side with the state to provide a strong platform in achieving excellence in academics and producing a potential youth for nation building. He vowed that in future IIUI will organize a Grand National dialogue for this purpose in which national and international educational institutions will be invited. He also added that the time has come to serve and build a strong nation. Dr. Jumani highlighted the causes and solutions to the problems in the way of unity of Pakistan. On this occasion Dr. Jumani also elaborated the role and activities of IRD in promoting research and dialogue. Prof. Dr. Ayaz Afsar, Vice President (Academics) termed the conference vital for youth and emphasized that such conference is the need of hour and presence of eminent educationists is vital for youth attending the conference. Dr. Ayaz said that in any country education plays a key role for its development and added that presently media can play its due role for making the minds of the nation towards development. Dr. Ayaz also highlighted challenges for nation building on the occasion. Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences during his opening remarks talked about significance of education for nation building and highlighted adverse effects of colonization. He said that mental slavery is more dangerous than physical slavery as role of state in nation building and independence is pivotal. He added that creating awareness among masses is also a key indicator for nation building. At the end of the inaugural session of the first day of the international conference, the Federal Minister distributed shields among keynote speaker’s organizers of the conference.