ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal Wednesday said the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor was high on the radar of bilateral relations between Pakistan and the US and was the most important initiative taken in decades-long strategic relations between the two countries.
During a meeting with USAID Mission Director John Groarke, who called on him at Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal highlighted the initiatives being taken to bring improvement in social sector particularly in education and health.
He pointed out that country faces shortage in quality human resource to meet growing needs of expanding universities network in the country.
“Country needs ten thousands Ph.Ds scholars in next 10 years to meet the faculty needs of universities and US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor will help Pakistan to produce these Ph.Ds in future”, he stated.
The Minister recalled that unfortunately, Pakistan missed the opportunities in the past to benefit from the real strength of the US i.e. its universities to revolutionize its education sector. However, present government realizes the importance of benefiting from the US universities, he said.
He emphasized the need to create awareness for proper grooming of Pakistani students for Ph.D programmes in the US universities and urged USAID to help Pakistan through capacity building measures in this regard.
In response to offer of USAID Director to contribute in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Minister welcomed the offer and said that there were tremendous opportunities of cooperation and collaboration in it.
He, however asked USAID representative to come up with tangible proposal.
Ahsan Iqbal emphasized the need to harness the potential of Pakistani Diaspora by offering them tax incentives for social uplift projects in Pakistan.
He shared his plan of laying telemedicine infrastructure in DHQs to connect with top Pakistani doctors in the US to raise the level of treatment in Pakistan.
“I believe it offer opportunity to Pakistani doctors in USA as well as with Pakistan IT engineers in the US to help Pakistan become IT centre of the region”, he stated.
The USAID Director commended the plan of US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor and said it would be instrumental to further strength the bilateral ties by expanding them into social sector.
He also apprised the minister about USAID contribution to bring improvement in education sector of the country particularly in backward areas of the country.