Khanaspur residential workshop has become a flagship event of the institute, which has been regularly organized on yearly basis since 2009. The workshop is a blend of learning and creative activities. The workshop spreads over five days. The purpose behind the workshop is to introduce Pakistani youth with the basic concept of philosophy of rights, economic freedom, and its implication on their lives. The participants have been selected from a diverse pool representing different segments of the society such as lawyers, journalists, students, entrepreneurs and youth activists. The topics discuss in the workshop usually encompass the following themes:
The current economic problems of Pakistan and their causes, such as: Inflation, Unemployment, Poverty, etc.Bases of Freedom, philosophy of Rights; the Concept of Natural and Inalienable Rights, fundamental Rights in Pakistan, economic and Political Freedom, definition of Economic Freedom; Elements of Economic Freedom; Implications of Economic Freedom, how Economic Freedom relates to Political Freedom? The Nature of the Relationship; Can one Survive without the other? Can Economic Freedom ensure Political Freedom?How the relationship between Economic and Political Freedom fares in Pakistan?How Economic Freedom is related to Democracy.These topics have also been documented in a manual which includes writings of well-known economists, political scientists, and liberty champions.
The course has graduated over 350 young participants in the last ten years and over 5000 participants attended the institute’s seminars other than many readers of institute’s online resources. During the last few years, the institute has formed a strong constituency of potential activists and thinkers through seminars and workshops. The graduates of the workshop now work in different capacities mostly in corporate and public sectors’ organizations. The immediate outcome of the institute efforts is evident from the recognition it has receivedwithin thecountry and from outside world.
This year, the event was organized in the hilly station and provincial summer camp Khanaspur Abbottabad. The institute announced its program three months earlier through social media, and words of mouth and received over 300 applications. It is a difficult task for the institute’s staff to select suitable candidates among a huge group of young and talented people. Based on the leadership potential, and contribution to society, thirty five candidates were finalized. The selected group was diverse belonging to different parts of the country. The diversity was not only limited to geographical location but it was also maintained in age groups, gender, education, professions, and ethnicity.
The group travelled from Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad towards Khanaspur on 28th August. The program spread over five days. This year, the group included professional trainers, students, political and social activists and young freshman of the undergrad programs. Dr. Khalil Ahmad, Dr. Fayyaz Ali Shah, Dr. Shahid Jan Kakakhel, and Dr. Raza Ullah were resource persons of the event.
On the first evening, before lunch, the participants networked with each other. Mr. Danish a professional trainer introduced participants with the significance of personal leadership in promoting a cause. He stressed for adaptive leadership and called it an effective feature of an individual personality to meet personal and societal goals.
On the following day, the training session started at 9 am, Dr. Khalil Ahmad thanked NFS and Linda for its generous support to the institute. He asked participants about the most pressing issues of Pakistani society. Participants gave different answers to this which were noted down including many popular myths suggesting popular statist policies. The resource persons quashed many myths mentioning works of different scholars and examples of developed countries who successfully alleviated poverty among their societies. A participants Mr. ZyadAlam a BS student of International Relations of University of Peshawar challenged excessive freedom to citizens a hindrance to the establishment of a peaceful society. Dr. Khalil Ahmad answered the question pointing the immense capacity of individuals in resolving their problems. The first day session was concluded at 5 pm. In the evening Director Supply Chain Management, University of Management and Technology Mr. IjazYousuf, a participant, apprised the members about System Thinking, and explained that many economic and social issues could be resolved with the help of system dynamics approach.
The second day training session began with the work of imminent writers such as Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman etc., the participants were informed how different countries solved their problems applying certain brilliant ideas. Different indices, and reports such as Doing Business Report, Economic Freedom Report, and International Property Rights Index were presented to the participants. As per the tradition, the best participant award were presented to Mohammad Zain. In the evening session, Hamza Jehangir a lawyer and human rights activist discussed the state of rule of law in Pakistan and the role of civil society in resolving human rights issues.
Among the participants,Syal Khan was an adept Rabab player (a local instrument like guitar) who enthralled the participants during the course. A group of Malaysian professors also visited the workshop and attended a session with the students, they were informed about the institute’s activities and the mission it forwarding for the cause of societal betterment.
The last day was spared for outdoor excursion, this year the plan was to explore the highest hilltop of the mountainous region i.e. Mashkpoori. The group traveled to the Mashkpoori base camp known as Lalazar while many of them reached to the top walking through the hardest lanes mostly by vertical walking. It was an amazing experience for the group and they called it as a wonderful and highly learning activity.
On the fifth day of the event, participants travelled back to their respective destinations.