LAHORE, Jan 14: Ruling out the possibility of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani seeking fresh vote of confidence, Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa has said no such proposal is under consideration.

Speaking to media persons after the ninth convocation of the Lahore School of Economics (LSE) on Saturday, the governor denied there was any threat to democracy or confrontation among state institutions.

He said all the ruling coalition partners, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, would support the resolution tabled by the Awami National Party to express resolve for strengthening democracy and democratic culture in the country. However, he hastened to add that a few opposition politicians could endanger democracy. He expressed the hope that the opposition would support the ANP resolution.

The governor said army topbrass' statement in the Supreme Court should have been routed through the federal government as they were part of the federation.

With regard to writing a letter to Swiss authorities, the governor said President Asif Zardari was enjoying immunity under the Constitution and the people of Pakistan would decide as to whether they wanted to see their elected president before the court of a magistrate or not.

To a question about Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif's statement that the US should support democracy in the country instead of backing 'dacoits', Mr Khosa said there was a need that all should exercise restraint and desist from involving foreign countries in Pakistan's internal matters. Terming the memo as a pack of lie, he said there was nothing in it.

Earlier, speaking at the convocation, the governor said education was the single most im-portant factor that could transform Pakistan's future. 'It boosts economy, broadens outlook and offers brighter future for children from poor families who, otherwise, may be left on streets,' he said.

He said the future of education laid in technology, building socio-economic infrastructure of the country for developing a strong and sustainable Pakistan. He said new needs and emerging trends needed to be addressed and culture of entrepreneurship be introduced. He said innovative and creative skills of youth should be sharpened so that the nation could stay responsive to the country's needs.

Highlighting the importance of women's participation in nation building, Mr Khosa said no nation could progress and attain economic prosperity without offering equal opportunities to women.

He hoped that upcoming conference on the Pakistan's economy, being organised by LSE in May, would be helpful in guiding the government to adopt pro-people policies.

LSE Rector Dr Shahid Amjad Chaudhry said the school had matured to become an established institution of higher learning with a wide range of academic disciplines encompassing economics, business, finance, social sciences, media studies, art and design, mathematics, statistics and environmental sciences at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

At present, he said, the LSE had 3,266 students in these disciplines with 66 doing their MPhil and PhD programmes, 457 doing their masters and 2,743 completing a four-year bachelor's degree.

Governor Khosa conferred degrees and awards upon 809 graduating students in different disciplines of M.Phil, MS Economics, MSC Economics, Masters in Business Administration (executive and regular), BSc (Honours) Economics and BBA (Honours). As many as nine gold medals and 82 silver medals were awarded to the students who earned distinction in their respective disciplines.



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