SWABI: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Friday asked the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf to make a ‘positive U-turn’ and return to parliament.
He was addressing a programme held at the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology here. The event was organised by the Science Society.
Rector GIK Institute Prof Fazal Ahmad Khalid, pro-rector admin and finance Sardar Aminullah Khan, deans, directors, heads of departments and students were in attendance.
Mr Iqbal said early elections could not be held in the country as the floods had played havoc in three provinces, adding in the best interest of the country and its people, PTI should rejoin the assembles and wait for the elections, which will be held when the present government completed its constitutionally-mandated tenure.
Federal minister says country can’t affort early polls in wake of devastating floods
He said Pakistan had lost the last 25 years due to a lack of continuity of policies to improve economy. He called for collaboration and shunning confrontation to drive the country out of the economic difficulties. “Development depends on stability and harmony,” he stressed, saying Pakistan is blessed with talented youth, ‘but if we fail to improve the environment and the country’s economy it would be a demographic disaster’.
Mr Iqbal said when the system was on the path of confrontation instead of tolerance and collaboration, the dream of prosperity could not be achieved.
He said the government had adopted seven models for the universities, including academic excellence, research and innovation, academia-industry linkages, contribution to the community, technological capacity, internal system and quality of graduates.
“The federal government wants to establish a centre of excellence that will be named after late Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was the project director of GIK Institute and founder of the Pakistan’s nuclear programme,” he said.
The federal minister recalled that AQ Khan had once written a letter to him in which he said that his utmost desire was to build a university that changed the nation’s destiny. Earlier, he said AQ Khan had also written a letter to former prime minister late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto about launching Pakistan’s nuclear programme, which he said, had changed the destiny of nation. “This is the second letter which I am writing to you,” Mr Iqbal said while quoting the architect of the country’s nuclear programme.
However, he said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government did not survive, and thus could not establish the university proposed by AQ Khan. “Now, we are determined to erect this high seat of learning,” he said.
He said that they were working to establish that institute, and that it might be established adjacent to the GIK Institute or the GIK Institute’s metallurgy faculty would be upgraded to a university to include the emerging sciences subjects as well.
“The name of the university will be AQ Institute of Metallurgy. It would be centre of excellence dreamed by the late scientist, and a tribute to him,” he said.
The federal minister said that it was true that the number of universities had increased in the country, but there was a lack of mechanism to provide jobs to the youth, who completed higher education.
“The main focus of the government is to strengthen the economy and generate jobs. We are working hard to strengthen economy, so youth could get jobs automatically in different public and private sectors,” he said.
“Our main focus is strengthening the country’s economy and we hope that the coalition government would achieve the objective,” he said.
On the occasion, Prof Khalid said that the minister’s visit to the institute was a great source of inspiration for students. “The youth of the country need enabling environment for their development. They require the best educational institutions to realise the dream of prosperity.”
Dr Naveed R Butt, dean faculty of engineering sciences, said that the symposium was aimed to inspire students of universities.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2022