BHURBAN, June 11: President General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday said that the government would continue to focus on scientific and technological development to ensure a strong, modern and prosperous Pakistan. Addressing a gathering of scientists and engineers, the president said the country needed to take giant and rapid strides to catch up with the world and make up for lost time and past neglect.

“I would like to reiterate my commitment and determination to continue to provide all our support to science and technology in Pakistan,” he said while inaugurating the International Bhurban Conference on Applied Sciences and Technology.

Some 200 scientists from Pakistan and all over the world are attending the week-long conference to present their research work in various disciplines.

“Apart from our very major successes in the nuclear and missile fields, the general state of science has been quite dismal,” he said, adding that such a sorry state of science reflected lack of national commitment, political will and understanding of the importance of science in the life of a modern nation.

“The lack of commitment itself reflects that our national leadership did not have the vision for a modern and enlightened Pakistan.”

Gen Musharraf said that science and technology had been a special area of focus of the government in the last six years as it had vast potential to transform poverty into prosperity and progress for Pakistan.

Moreover, he said, supporting science and technology meant encouraging and developing a culture of science and inquiry in the country which he added “will provide the enabling environment for people to seek knowledge.” He said that in the Holy Quran word ilm had been mentioned 800 times, only after Allah, adding it was a pity that this had been corrupted by the obscurantist forces.—APP

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