Pakistan – Perception and Reality

Time to Read – Three Minutes

Today I could have written about the UK General Election and its aftermath, or about Woking FC’s play off final yesterday in Bath…both of those can wait, because last week I had one amazing experience.

I had been invited by The Pakistan Society for Human Resource Management to visit their country to speak at a leadership and management conference, and run two workshops one in Karachi and Lahore.

Many people told me not to go, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against travelling.

After all, we have been told it is the home of the Taliban, to daily terrorist attacks, and to strong anti-west sentiment.

On the other hand, close friends who knew the region advised differently, as long as I stayed away from certain areas, and took care. Chairman of Woking FC Shahid Azeem said go for it. And so I did.

While I was there, the only surviving Mumbai bomber, a Pakistani, was sentenced to death, and the man arrested for the bomb found in New York was born in Pakistan.
Also, while I was there I met, worked with and visited the homes of business leaders, entrepreneurs and citizens who were – to a person – warm, welcoming and had a real, tangible can-do attitude.

Yes – widely known – there is serious poverty, there are huge financial challenges, and some people who wish other people ill.

And yes – less widely known – there is serious hope, there are new entrepreneurs setting up all over the country, and more people who wish other people well.

Also, their youthful demographic make Pakistan a powerful force for business in the future – my prediction would be five years from now.

Action – Be proactive in looking for the good in all cultures and countries seeking to make friends and encourage understanding and respect in both directions. 

With my thanks to all who made me so welcome in Pakistan, and my love and best wishes to everyone.


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