ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has said economic and financial strength is vital for taking independent decisions.

He said the country could achieve accelerated economic growth by imparting skills to youth and women through short and extensive training courses in various fields, especially in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

The president made these remarks while virtually addressing the 45th annual convention of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), USA, from Aiwan-i-Sadr.

APPNA President Dr Haroon Durrani and members of the Pakistani diaspora attended the virtual convention.

Says Pakistani diaspora could contribute to add value to business, industrial, agri and services sectors

Dr Alvi said meaningful and active role of the Pakistani diaspora was imperative to uplift business and industrial sectors and impart skills to youth and women to help Pakistan achieve self-sufficiency which would enable the country to take independent political, financial and economic decisions for the betterment of the people.

He regretted that in the past Pakistan did not have the capacity to absorb its highly educated and productive human resource which resulted in its migration to developed countries where, by sheer dint of merit, they became high achievers in many high value sectors and contributed to the development and prosperity of their host country.

President Alvi said the Pakistani diaspora could contribute to uplift and add value to business, industrial, agriculture and services sectors of the country and in the development of non-productive population, such as the uneducated youth and women by imparting them technical skills and expertise in relevant fields.

He appreciated the Pakistani physicians in the US for earning excellent reputation in the host country and for their valuable contributions towards Pakistan’s development. He urged them to establish telehealth services in Pakistan in order to provide guidance and consultancy to the patients, especially to the poor and underserved segments of the population.

While identifying various sectors where Pakistan needed to make progress, he said” “We needed to provide further incentives to the ICT sector and equip our youth with marketable ICT skills.”

He said strong democratic institutions, curbing the menaces of corruption, nepotism and jobbery, empowering women financially and focusing on the skill development of its human resources were essential for Pakistan’s socioeconomic development.

He said Pakistan through its Digiskills online training programme had imparted IT skills to over 2.4 million youth and enabled them to earn a decent living for themselves. He said scale and scope of such fast-track training programmes needed to be enlarged and expanded across the country.

While updating the participants on salient features of Pakistan’s foreign policy, the president said Pakistan had shifted the focus of its foreign policy from geo-strategic to geo-economics and was promoting regional trade and connectivity by optimally utilising its unique geographic location, especially in the context of Central Asian Republics which were keen to link themselves to rest of the world to promote regional trade and economic cooperation.

Dr Alvi said Pakistan did not believe in polarisation and camp politics and was trying to maintain cordial relations with all its international partners.

He urged the Pakistani diaspora to address misgivings and misunderstanding about Pakistan in USA in the wake of the the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2022

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