ISLAMABAD / HARIPUR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday vowed to take back looted national wealth from corrupt people and invest the money thus recovered in education sector.
“I am thinking of introducing a law envisaging that the money being recovered by the Asset Recovery Unit is invested in education because the future of our children will improve considerably if we spend on their education,” Mr Khan said while inaugurating the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF-IAST) at Mang, Haripur.
He stressed the need for getting rid of what he called “dependency syndrome caused by colonialism” and said the time had come for the nation to follow the path of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Mohammad Iqbal.
“The mindset of depending on the West and not relying on our own potential prevails. Why can’t we produce our own scientists and make inventions and patents?”
The prime minister said Pakistanis should make their own inventions. “This can be done only through science and technology, knowledge economy and education.”
Inaugurates institute set up with Austrian government’s cooperation
He said the country is in dire need of treading its own path. Pakistan has two big advantages — its young population and the talent it has.
“The performance of Pakistani students in O’ and A’ levels is ample proof of that,” he said.
“Knowledge economy is the best option for Pakistan to capitalise on its large youth pool and immense talent for scientific innovation and technical productivity.
“Now is the time for the country to discover its own path, leading to a system based on scientific and technical production to ensure economic growth.”
He said: “Singapore boasts $330 billion worth of exports compared to Pakistan’s $25bn… Malaysia made an imprint in electronics as encouraged by its leader Dr Mahathir Mohamed.”
Established with the assistance of government of Austria, the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology is aimed to help develop Pakistan’s industrial and higher education sectors.
It also aims to set up an integrated technology park equipped with business incubation centres and units for small and medium-sized enterprises.
On the occasion Prime Minister Khan also referred to tech giants Microsoft and Facebook, which boast revenues greater than entire countries like Pakistan. “Only one Microsoft is worth $2,000bn, while our total annual budget is $60bn,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the newly established institute would prove to be a scientific and technological hub and provide a platform for Pakistani youths to excel in these areas.
He said that China’s collaboration with Pakistan had been transformed into industrial cooperation as the two countries had entered the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Campuses of five Chinese and three Austrian universities would be opened in Pakistan as the country had set its eyes on excelling in the areas of artificial intelligence and big data processing, he said.
Mr Khan lauded the cooperation extended by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in turning the Pakistan-Austria project into a reality.
The premier also thanked the Austrian government for the cooperation it extended in setting up the new institute. He was of the opinion that the institute would prove its worth in days to come.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, prominent scientist Dr Atta-ur-Rehman and federal and provincial ministers were present on the occasion.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2020