Minister Planning, Development and Reform Prof Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan is making headways in all sectors despite difficulties and nefarious designs of the anti-country elements, and it is a must that the despondency should also be shunned, and every Pakistani must adopt ‘I am rising Pakistan’ as our new motto.

            “We must work harder, better and smarter to secure competitiveness in all fields, which is key to sustained growth. It is the time that all strata of the society must come forward and play their role to put Pakistan in top 25 economies by keeping pace with new innovations and disruptions in the world,” he observed, while addressing a ceremony held to celebrate two years of the Pakistan Vision 2025 here on Thursday.  The event was also attended by Minister for Information Pervaiz Rasheed, State Minister for Education Baligh-ur -Rehman , Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and people belonging to different fields of life . Awards were given to recognise high achievers of different fields.

            While talking about the Vision 2025, Prof Ahsan Iqbal said the document was outlined after extensive consultations with all the stakeholders, and the framework had seven pillars and five enablers to an equitable and sustainable progress of the country. He was of the considered opinion that since there existed no roadmap for the long-term development in past, we are facing number of challenges. If we want to succeed, we must have political stability, peace and continuity of policies. If the present pace of progress continued along with the stability, Pakistan will be another South Korea and Malaysia,” he believed, adding that the present Pakistan was far better than what it was in 2013, when the international media was portraying Pakistan as the most dangerous country of the world, and now it had become one of the best investment destinations and emerging economies of the world.

            He also talked about divergent issues confronting the nation, and said divergent crises had been successfully handled, while the rest were being dealt with in all earnestness. He compared Pakistan of the early decades to the present one, and observed that today it was far ahead in many sectors. He enlisted success stories and said we must celebrate our successes instead of crying over lapses all the time. About Balochistan, he said the province had been put on the road to progress, while remnant of anti state elements was being defeated. “Seeing this, we must change the decadent narrative of negativity and putting all the bad tags on Pakistan. It is high time that the all of us must highlight the positive image of our country by adopting ‘I am rising Pakistan’ and becoming brand ambassadors so that the country’s true picture is presented to the world,” he said.

            About production of energy, Prof Ahsan Iqbal said 3,600MW would produced through LNG under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) 1,320MW each at the Port Qasim and Sahiwal power plants, which would be added to the national grid by the next year, while 600MW Chashma Nuclear Plant, 1,320MW each of the Hubco and Jamshoro power projects, and 2,000MW Thar project would be completed by 2018-19. He also mentioned that work was being done on producing 800MW wind and 900MW solar energy. “At present, we have the biggest ever investment in the energy sector, which will help us overcome the energy crisis in the next two year,” he said, while adding that infrastructural development on the western route of the CPEC was at fast pace, and the railways was also being upgraded. “Sick projects like     Lowari Tunnel and Islamabad Airport are being completed as well. The national carrier Pakistan International Airlines is being turned into a success story since it has 40 planes now in comparison to 19 of the previous years,” he said.

            At the end Minister for Planning , Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Information Pervaiz Rasheed inaugurated the digital campaign of ‘I am Rising Pakistan ‘ .

            The Young Development Leader Awards were given to high achievers of different sectors. They were: Dr Muhammad Naveed (agriculture), Dr Faisal Khan (engineering), Burhan Rasool (Information Technology), Nabeel Qadeer(entrepreneurship), Zahida Hameed Qureshi (community services), Imran Moinuddin (science), Dr Abdul Wali (Biotechnology), Dr Zafar Hussain Ibupoto (education), Anwarul Haq (energy), Arieb Azhar (arts and culture), Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq (health), Faran Awais Butt (Innovation) and Dr Murtaza Najabat Ali (emerging sciences).