Prime Minister Imran Khan during an address at the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) on Monday urged the youth to follow their passion in order to succeed.
The premier was speaking at the launch ceremony of Pakistan's first National Science and Technology Park (NSTP) at NUST in Islamabad. In attendance were students, members of the faculty as well as army personnel, including Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. This was the first public appearance of Prime Minister Imran and Gen Bajwa together after the latter's extension was briefly halted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
"You are the students of Pakistan's best university [...] You have more responsibility," he told the students in attendance.
In order to develop, it is important to expect that life will take "a downward trajectory", the prime minister said.
"You should expect [setbacks]. Life always go around in cycles, it is never a straight line," he said.
He lauded Minister of Science and Technology for showing "passion for a ministry that no one cared about" in the past.
"People said that our government did not take technological development seriously; you have made Fawad Chaudhry the minister of science and technology," he said, drawing chuckles from Chaudhry.
"But a good captain knows which player should play on which number," the prime minister added. He also paid tribute to Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Shujaat Hussain, the "architect" of the university for his "vision". The former lieutenant general was the founder rector of NUST.
He regretted that Pakistan, that was once a confident nation, had become dependent on others, "even for ideas".
"I am almost as old as Pakistan and I have seen the phase when Pakistanis were optimistic and confident. I have seen that phase as well [...] We had confidence and self-belief and a major reason for it was a system of meritocracy.
"The development in Pakistan during the '60s was not due to outsiders, it was due to our own systems, our own institutions."
The NSTP, according to Radio Pakistan, is Pakistan's biggest "innovation and research ecosystem" and its launch comes days after the inauguration of Digital Pakistan Vision.
The technology park would provide a platform for more than 40 companies, which would include start-ups as well as small-medium enterprises. It will also house established digital companies, Radio Pakistan reported.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has laid special emphasis on the technological development of the country and has taken several steps to incorporate technology in the governance system, maintenance of law and order etc. by launching mobile applications.