ISLAMABAD: Speaking at the launch ceremony of Islamabad Policy Institute’s (IPI) publication ‘Pakistan: Mapping the Policy Agenda 2018 -2023’, politicians from across the political divide on Monday called upon the government to adopt a collaborative and consensus building approach for addressing national issues, and place special emphasis on improving the implementation aspect of the policies. The publication of IPI outlines policy options for the new government to tackle challenges in 16 key areas of governance. The book has been themed ‘Governing Pakistan Better’. The publication contains think tank’s institutional recommendations and analysis of the manifestos of political parties with a view to explore common ground for cooperation between government and the opposition on critical challenges confronted by the country. It has 16 policy papers written by leading experts. The areas covered in the publication include Economy, CPEC, Energy, Water crisis, Extremism/Terrorism, Education, Health, and Access to Justice, Climate Change, Foreign Policy, Defense, Freedom of Expression/Media and civil military relations. The publication, which was a culmination of a yearlong research project, was published in collaboration with a German organization Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Speaking at the launch ceremony PML-N leader Senator Mussadiq Malik said he hopes that PTI government will continue with the infrastructure projects, initiated by the previous government, for the benefit of common man. Citing the example of the efforts of the previous government on power generation, he said, the new administration should now address the problems in transmission and distribution. He further said that a holistic view of security should be taken instead of looking at the things through the narrow view. Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar of Balochistan Awami Party regretted that Pakistan, despite making immense sacrifices in the war on terror, was still being maligned. He said there were elements within the country, which were propagating a particular view. We need to have a broader look at the affairs, added the senator. Senator Sitara Ayaz of Awami National Party underscored the need for internal stability. She called for strengthening of the Parliament, and urged the government to place a greater focus on addressing the problems facing the country. Allama Raja Nasir Abbas of Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen pointed out that national institutions were weak and the government would have to undertake a massive reforms program for restructure them. He appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s assertion that Pakistan will not fight others’ wars and said that it marks a strategic shift. Maulana Amin Shaheedi of Ummat-e-Wahida asked the new government to show political courage for tackling some of the deep rooted problems and have confidence in our national resources, rather than looking outside for assistance. Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf’s Nadeem Afzal Chan said the country would have genuine democracy once the political parties that are the building blocks of this political fabric become democratic in their organisational structures. Executive Director IPI Prof Sajjad Bokhari said: “As the constitutional democracy takes roots, new Parliament and government have their work cut out for them to assert democratic supremacy. Democratic consolidation is still work in progress, and it will be undoubtedly, marred by events”. He further said: “Democratic leaders and civilian policy-makers, thus, have an added responsibility of actually delivering on campaign promises and earning necessary political capital and policy space to affect change. It is here, that, this report comes in handy for Pakistan’s new leadership and policy-makers.” Published in Daily Times, September 11th 2018.