I am always amazed by the stoicism and cheery demeanour shown by our good Pakistani friends, even though the country has clearly now entered another bout of its all-too-regular turbulence and uncertainty.
Here in the UK we are there too. Our newspapers are full of doom and gloom – and clearly things are not going to any sort of plan post-Brexit.
Add in Covid legacies with maybe 1 million more unwell, another 2 million with reduced working patterns, stubbornly high inflation, a cost-of-living crisis caused by the Ukraine war and energy crisis, enduring strikes - all gloomy daily reading.
Of course, one’s spirits can rally – chuckle at English cricket captain Ben Stokes smiting 182 in a one-day cricket match or applaud Naila Kiani reaching the top of Everest.
Britain came together a year ago when Elizabeth II died, and paused for two weeks with shared respect and grief, indeed globally shared. It remembered itself as a nation. Pakistan too had its ordeal in the terrible floods a year back, which brought such destruction, but also acts of heroism and patriotism.
In her 70 years, the Queen of course, was witness to a Pakistan that veered from democracy to bouts of military rule. All wait to see what follows next.
We at the Noon Foundation, proud to be in our 30th year since our legal Foundation, have backed some 230 scholars whom we have warmly encouraged to do their best to lead Pakistan forward.
As part of this anniversary year, we want to bring some of you brilliant scholars together in early 2024 to explore what more we could do to help Pakistan forward. Let us work together on that goal. I will write more on our plans in the coming weeks and months.