Pakistan

LAHORE – Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that economic giants like Central Asia, Russia, UK and other European countries were keen to join CPEC.

Addressing the second Alumni Reunion here at University of Engineering and Technology (UET), he said, Pakistan was now on the path to economic development and there was dire need for political stability for ensuring consistency in policies to achieve vital economic goals of the country.

Ahsan Iqbal said South Korea, Malaysia, China, Turkey and Singapore developed themselves through political stability; continuation in economic/development policies; investment in social development, education, science and technology; using their professionals and technocrats as tools to achieve development; and had avoided conflict.

Ahsan Iqbal stated the view that the 20th century had been a century of political concepts but 21st century was one of economic ideology.

“Only those countries can advance at global level who have an ability of wealth creation, its justified distribution, and who are efficient in ensuring its sustainability on competitive basis,” he added.

The destiny of 200 million people of Pakistan cannot be changed overnight, as it required years, he said and added the present government was striving to ensure social justice and a level playing field and is providing everyone equal access to opportunities, according to the vision and ideology of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

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The minister mentioned that three years ago, the western media and global institutions had been terming Pakistan as a dangerous state but today the same media and institutions have all been praising Pakistan, declaring the country to be one of the rising economies in the world.

He cited that now European countries, Central Asia, Russia and UK were eyeing Pakistan and showing a keen interest to be part of the CPEC.

The present government, he said, had also the credit of initiating mega-energy projects by using all possible resources- coal, hydel, wind, solar and renewable energy, very efficiently, and expected that by 2018, up to 11,000 mega-watts of electricity would be generated into the system, which was unprecedented in the country’s history.

The minister also stressed the need for changing the education system that did not encourage students to go to the library or rea and consult books other than their course textbooks. He suggested that lecture-based teaching should be replaced with interactive learning and inquiry to broaden students aptitude and intellect level.

Ahsan Iqbal disclosed that a six-point programme would be introduced in collaboration with Higher Education Commission to change educational instruction system, ensure research and innovation, and enhance academia and industry linkage.

He also called for revival of student unions under set rules and discipline, adding there must not be any iota of violence and political interference in these unions, which ensured healthy academic activities.

He said, “UET Lahore is a great seat of learning as it has produced engineers who proved their mettle in Pakistan’s structural and defence projects as well as in the world.”

Ahsan Iqbal also recalled his memories as an engineering student and then as President of Lahore UET Students Union, and shared some anecdotes pertaining to his student days with the participants.

Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Chairman Engineer Javed Saleem Qureshi, Lahore UET Vice Chancellor Fazal Ahmed, Former VC Muhammad Akram, and renowned Engineer Jawad Ahmed also spoke.

–APP