UAE-based philanthropist gets award from Pakistan

Mobisher Rabbani was given a presidential commendation in Islamabad for his contribution to his homeland.

Pakistan president Mamnoon Hussain, left, presents Dubai resident Mobisher Rabbani with his award. Courtesy Pakistan government
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DUBAI// A UAE-based Pakistani philanthropist who has done extensive relief work has been given a presidential commendation for his contribution to his homeland.

Mobisher Rabbani, who founded the Rabbani Foundation, was given the award in Islamabad after taking part in a study group looking at how to develop Pakistan over the next decade.

“I feel really proud to have been given the award,” Mr Rabbani said. “I’m really honoured to be selected to be part of the study group, and I hope the recommendations we made will help not just Pakistanis at home but those living overseas.”

The study group was made up of elected officials, business people as well as former ambassadors and military officials.

The group worked together for six weeks and were taken on a tour of provinces including Federally Administered Tribals Areas, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

The aim was to set out a roadmap to implement PakistanVision 2025, which focusses on improving the country’s economy, governance and cultural image.

“I was there representing overseas Pakistanis and among our recommendations was looking at ways to encourage some of the best-known in the country to expand abroad as well as making it easier for people to invest,” he said.

As a whole, the group highlighted the need for local governments to play a greater role as well as getting more private sector involvement while also focussing on improving productivity.

“The aim for the study group was to find ways to place Pakistan on a path to growth not just economically but also in terms of governance,” said Mr Rabbani, who also runs a diplomatic consultancy in the UAE. “The plan is that from now on there will be annual meetings between the Pakistani government and stakeholders to make sure that progress is made.

“I tried to share some of my experiences as an overseas Pakistani based in the UAE and I hope that with Vision 2025 the country can become a stable and attractive destination not just for business but as a place to live. The wider Pakistani diaspora needs to be more active in contributing to Pakistan beyond remittances and charity work. But I think there also needs to be more done to make Pakistan attractive for people to invest.

“At the end of the day we all want Pakistan to be stable and prosper.”

nhanif@thenational.ae