LAHORE, Pakistan: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that Pakistan was now on way to economic development and there was dire need for political stability for ensuring consistency in policies to achieve vital economic goals of the country.
While addressing the second Alumni Reunion at University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Lahore, he said that 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; used their professionals and technocrats as tool to achieve development; and not indulged into any conflict/war.
Ahsan Iqbal was of the view that 20th century had been a century of political concepts but 21st century was of economic ideology. Only that country could advance at global level that had an ability of wealth creation; its justified distribution; and efficient in ensuring its sustainability on competitive basis, he added. To change destiny of 200 million people of Pakistan could not be done overnight, as it required years, he said and added the present government was striving to ensure social justice; level playing field and equal access of everyone to opportunities, as it was the vision and ideology of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal regarding Pakistan.
The minister mentioned that three years ago, the western media and global institutions had been terming Pakistan as dangerous state but today the same media and institutions were all praised of Pakistan and declared her as rising economy in the world.
Talking about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, he said that it was a splendid gift and a great opportunity that came in centuries, and its successful completion could make Pakistan’s development irreversible. He said that now European countries, Central Asia, Russia and UK etc were eying Pakistan and showing their keen interest to be part of the CPEC.
The federal minister said that the present government had also the credit of initiating mega energy projects by manipulating all resources- coal, hydel, wind, solar and renewable energy, very speedily, and till 2018, it would add up to 11,000 megawatts of electricity into the system, which was unprecedented in country’s history.
The minister also stressed the need for changing the teaching pattern/system that did not compel students to go to library or read/consult books other than their course/textbooks. He suggested that lecture-base teaching should be replaced with interactive learning and inquiry pattern to broaden students aptitude and intellect level.
Ahsan Iqbal disclosed that in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC), a six-point programme would be introduced to change educational instruction system; ensure Research and Innovation; and enhance Academia and Industry linkage.
He also called for revival of Students Unions but 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 great seat of learning as it produced engineers, who proved their metal in Pakistan’s structural and defense projects as well as in the world.”
Ahsan Iqbal also recalled his memories as an engineering student and then President of Lahore UET Students Union, and shared sweet events of his student life 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.