PM thinks cash recovered from corrupt can be diverted to education

HARIPUR – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said knowledge economy was the best option for Pakistan to capitalise its large youth pool and immense talent for scientific innovation and technical productivity.

“Now is the time for country to discover its own path leading towards a system based on scientific and technical production to ensure economic growth,” he said addressing at the inauguration of Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF-IAST) here at Mang, Haripur.

Established with assistance of the government of Austria, the Institute will contribute to Pakistan’s high-tech industrial economy and higher education in engineering and technology. It also aims to set up an integrated Technology Park with business incubation centres and shell units for small and medium-sized enterprises. Prime Minister Imran Khan said investment in education would ensure a bright and prosperous for the coming generations. Imran Khan said he was considering diverting all money recovered by Asset Recovery Unit from the corrupt towards education sector. He said ‘dependency syndrome’ was the main reason behind the country’s distraction from the path of struggle and development. “The mindset of depending on the West and not relying on own potential prevails. Why can’t we produce our own scientists and make inventions and patents,” he questioned. 

The Prime Minister gave reference of tech giants Microsoft and FaceBook, which due to making strides in science and technology, had a worth bigger than Pakistan’s budget. He said Singapore boasted $330 billion exports compared with Pakistan’s $25 billion as it entirely adopted science and technology, besides Malaysia that made imprint in electronics as encouraged by leader Dr Mahathir Mohammed.

Markets along Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders approved

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the Fachhochschule Institute of Austria’s top university would prove a hub of science and technology and also a platform for Pakistani youth to excel. He mentioned that China’s collaboration with Pakistan had transformed into industrial cooperation as the two countries entered the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He said campuses of five Chinese and three Austrian universities would be opened in Pakistan as the country set eyes on learning Artificial Intelligence and Big Data for systemic data processing. The Prime Minister lauded the cooperation extended by the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government in materializing the project, saying that time would prove its benefits for the country.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the establishment of three markets along Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders as a pilot project.

The approval was given in a high level meeting on the establishment of border markets in Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran border areas in Islamabad on Thursday with Prime Minister in the chair.

The markets, two in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, will be completed and activated by February next year.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said these markets will provide better business and trade opportunities to the people living along the border areas.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal and PM’s Advisors including Asim Salim Bajwa, Razzak Dawood, and Hafeez Sheikh were also present in the meeting.

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