ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday asked the newly appointed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, Arshad Hussain Shah, to provide all-out assistance to the Election Commission in holding free and fair general elections across the province.
The premier made these remarks when Mr Shah, a retired judge, called on him at the Prime Minister’s House. It was their first meeting since Mr Shah assumed charge on Sunday.
Mr Shah stepped into the role after his predecessor, Azam Khan, died of a heart attack on Nov 11.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Mr Kakar and Mr Shah discussed the upcoming general elections and the province’s administrative matters. During the meeting, Mr Kakar and Mr Shah discussed various key issues, including the upcoming general elections and administrative affairs of the province. They also reviewed KP’s law and order situation and measures to combat smuggling.
The prime minister congratulated Mr Shah on his new role and expressed high hopes for his tenure.
In a separate meeting to review the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) performance, Prime Minister Kakar directed officials to chalk out a mechanism to get funding from the information technology and pharmaceutical sectors to support research initiatives.
“They would have to extend the facility of stipends in the science and engineering subjects to promote human and technical resources,” he said.
The meeting was attended by Caretaker Education Minister Madad Ali Sindhi, HEC Chairman Dr Mukthar Ahmed, the education secretary and other senior officials, the PMO said in a statement.
Mr Kakar was also briefed on the formulated strategy between academia and the industry for collaboration. He also called for a joint meeting of all the provincial authorities to resolve education-related issues.
He underlined the need for bringing higher education to the country in conformity with contemporary and economic needs and called for the introduction of scholarships in technical and scientific subjects according to global requirements.
The prime minister was briefed about higher education, students’ scholarships, universities, and other related issues. He was apprised that the HEC recognised 259 higher education institutes in the country and that the number of universities of global standards had increased in Pakistan in the previous years.
“So far, more than 20,000 scholarships have been awarded for PhD since the inception of HEC,” an official said.
The premier was also briefed on national and international scholarships and was informed about a mechanism to control plagiarism in the educational sector. He directed relevant officials to submit a complete report regarding the outcome of government-funded scholarships, insisting that hurdles faced by Pakistanis studying abroad in getting the release of scholarships should be removed.
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2023