Pakistan must fully participate in global tech revolution, says PM Imran

Published March 19, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Malakand University on Friday. — Photo courtesy Prime Minister's Office
Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Malakand University on Friday. — Photo courtesy Prime Minister's Office

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that Pakistan had to fully participate in the upcoming technological revolution in the world and highlighted the importance of technology and technical education.

The premier was addressing a ceremony at Malakand University to celebrate the inauguration of a new academic block and examination centre there.

The prime minister told the audience that the current pace of global technological advancement was unprecedented.

"We have to fully participate in that [technological revolution] as we have been left behind," he said, lamenting that Pakistan had committed a great mistake in not paying emphasis on technology, technical and higher education.

"The more we add value to our people and spend on them, [the more] they will add value in society. A knowledge [based] economy is the economy that goes up in the world."

The premier stressed upon the importance of a university education and said it "has a great impact on society, because it takes people to another level".

He said a government wouldn't have to do anything else once it invested on its graduates and people in higher education because they would themselves help build up the economy. "An educated population raises the nation."

He praised the efforts and results produced by Malakand University in this regard.

The prime minister also addressed other initiatives related to universities and said his dream was to make Namal University the "Oxford University" of Pakistan and a knowledge city.

Al-Qadir university would also be started from September, according to the prime minister, to nurture "intellectual leadership" and teach Islamic values and teachings. The board of the university comprises of renowned Islamic scholars from across the world, he added.

He also said classes would be initiated in universities to inculcate values and develop students as ideal and model individuals.

Wealth creation

The prime minister said when the PTI government came to power in 2018, the country didn't have enough money to repay its loans and service its debts.

"Our allied nations helped us and saved us from default. If we had defaulted then the people crying about inflation today, you can't imagine the kind of inflation we would have faced."

He said the PTI government had returned a total of Rs35,000 billion in the last two-and-a-half in loan repayments and "then you don't have money to spend on your education, hospitals and streets".

The solution, the prime minister said, to the problem of Pakistan's massive loans, was to be found in wealth creation. He highlighted development projects the government had undertaken such as the Ravi City project and Central Business District in Lahore,

The aforementioned projects "will have trillions worth of wealth generation [...] we will get foreign exchange and our rupee will be strengthened," he added.

The premier also said construction of the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams would save Pakistan's water and increase agricultural productivity, thus increasing wealth.

He lamented that Pakistan was still using old farming techniques in agriculture and said he would be launching a new policy for agriculture next week.

"We are giving incentives to the construction industry and construction is happening at an unprecedented level in Pakistan's history [...] and [we are] making low cost housing and affordable housing for the people."

He also stressed the importance of developing the tourism industry and encouraging industrialisation in Pakistan for wealth generation.

"Tourism alone [...] can bring so much money and foreign exchange for Pakistan that all our problems of foreign reserves can end."

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