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PR No. 128 PAKISTAN NEEDS A LONG MARCH FOR ECONOMIC REVIVAL: AHSAN IQBAL Islamabad

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform,  Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan needs economic long marches instead of political  ones for the development of the country,  as societies grow through political stability and continuity of policies. He said that Pakistan is not underdeveloped country but an undermanaged country, due to lack of continuity in policies. He said it is the time to stop playing musical chairs on politics and adopt a clear path and dimension to become aware of Pakistan’s economic potential. Federal Minister expressed these views while addressing inauguration ceremony of the cloud data centre at Higher Education Commission ( HEC ). He was accompanied by Mr Sun Weidong, Ambassador of China in Pakistan, HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, and Vice chancellors of various public and private Universities.

On this occasion Ahsan Iqbal complemented HEC on inauguration of this centre and said that it would facilitate Universities to become part of the world class research and development process. He said that today we are living in the age of digital world and it is very important to provide our students HEC infrastructure equipped with IT.

Ahsan Iqbal said that from 2010 -2013 the HEC budget was 100 billion but from 2013 to 2016 it has been increased above 200 billion. He further stated that in last three years Planning Commission has approved 66 HEC projects. This shows our commitment and dedication to promote higher education. He said that the government is committed to establishing a University or sub campus in every district of Pakistan, including the remote areas. Three Universities in Fata, Zhob and Gwadar would be established to produce quality human resource from these areas.

While mentioning Science Talent Farming Scheme (STFC) he said that his dream turned into reality with the launch of this scheme, costing 1.5 billion. He said that under Vision 2025 this project was to develop future top quality scientists of Pakistan from Public Sector Schools. Through this scheme, 300 students from all over the country were selected on merit and would be given training, visits and experience to become World class scientists, he added. ‘ I was very moved by the speech of a student from Tharpakar, Pardeep Kumar who said that he would not believe that he would get such an opportunity coming from a village where there was no formal school’ , Minister said. Federal Minister said that the Laptop Scheme of government faced criticism in the past but now it has been proved that laptop is the need of today’s students and not a luxury. He said that the students are not only using these computers for learning but they are also helping them to become IT entrepreneurs.

While highlighting China Pakistan Economic corridor Minister said that it will prove to be a game changer for Pakistan. He said that 46 billion investment of China in CPEC is just a tip of the ice berg as more investment is coming in coming years. He noted that previous governments remained busy in making geo -strategic alliances instead of Geo economic relations. He said that in 2013 China was 16th country of FDI in Pakistan but today it has become number one country in direct foreign investment in Pakistan.

In another meeting with a delegation of Pak-US Business Forum in Ministry of Planning Commission Federal Minister said that Pakistan’s portfolio has improved enormously in terms of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) coupled with the improved indicators and law and order situation across the country. He described that Pakistan’s perception has changed drastically in 2016 from 2013 when country was labeled as the most dangerous in the world. The world now recognizes Pakistan as next emerging success story.

Minister also highlighted Vision 2025 which lays out roadmap for taking country into top 25 economies of the world by 2025.Minister also briefed delegation about the Pak-Us knowledge Corridor under which  Pakistan will have 10,000 PHDs from top 200 universities of America  in next ten years. He also urged overseas Pakistanis to invest in tourism, health and Education sector in Pakistan.

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