ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Dr. Arif Alvi has said that quality education and skilled manpower were essential for the sustainable development of Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said that achieving vocational training was imperative for all students, especially female students.
He said that students could realize the dream of financial self-sufficiency through digital skills and freelancing training.
He expressed these views while addressing the fifth Graduation Ceremony (Convocation) of the University of Baltistan in Skardu.
The President congratulated the graduating students, their parents and teachers and wished them a bright future.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that talented and skilled manpower was required to utilize the natural resources of Gilgit-Baltistan for the development and prosperity of the region and to meet the challenges of the future.
The economic revolution could be carried out only through skilled manpower, he added.
He emphasised that the market was in dire need of skilled professionals, especially in the IT sector. He added that in the field of Cyber Security alone, 80 million IT professionals would be needed by the year 2030.
He stated that the demand for 2-year associate degree programmes was growing and our universities should focus on these programmes.
The President highlighted that due to the changes in the field of Information Technology, the doors of the global market had opened up and Pakistani youth, especially women, can now market their services online and become financially independent.
He said that Islam had allowed women to participate in economic activities, therefore, female students should also focus on honing their IT and digital skills which will enable them to earn a decent livelihood from the comfort of their homes.
He asked the students to further polish their communication skills so that they could effectively market themselves through digital and online platforms.
The President further said that climate change was a major threat to the future of the region, therefore, universities needed to promote research to tackle the effects of climate change. He stated that efforts were needed to overcome the climate crisis and global warming by conserving nature and adopting eco-friendly practices.
On the occasion, the President further said that he was always happy to visit Gilgit-Baltistan as the people here have high spirits and enthusiasm for the development and stability of the country.
He added that the students had worked hard to gain knowledge which was the greatest blessing of Allah Almighty.
He advised the graduating students to keep their minds open and continue to gain knowledge throughout their lives.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, Khalid Khursheed Khan, welcomed the President to Gilgit-Baltistan and thanked him for his knowledge and special attachment to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan announced on the occasion that the provincial government was formulating a strategy for the establishment of three more universities in Gilgit-Baltistan with its own resources.
Earlier, the President was received by the Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khurshid, Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Syed Amjad Zaidi, provincial ministers, senior civil officials and the administration of the university at the commencement ceremony.
Dr Zakir Hussain Zakir, Vice-Chancellor, University of Baltistan, while delivering the welcome address, highlighted the efforts and initiatives taken for the promotion of education and research in the university and also thanked the President for his special participation in the award ceremony.
The President also distributed medals among the best performing students on the occasion.