Trying to bring Iran closer to KSA, US: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said Pakistan will make efforts to build friendship of Iran with Saudi Arabia and United States and will not fight someone else’s war in future.

The prime minister said this while launching Pakistan’s largest skill development programme called “Hunarmand Jawan” aimed at the emancipation of youth through quality professional training.

The prime minister vowed that Pakistan will become a great nation and lead the Muslim Ummah. He said Pakistan will spearhead efforts to establish peace in the region and beyond. He said he had told US President Donald Trump that there is no winner in the war. He said Pakistan has suffered massive losses while becoming part of others’ wars in the past.

Talking about the programme, Imran Khan said the government will concentrate on enhancing job opportunities in the country this year. He said that last year the government focused on attaining stability and this year the focus will be on growth.

The prime minister said Pakistan has now embarked on the path as envisioned by its great founder Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and great philosopher and thinker Allama Muhammad Iqbal. He expressed the hope that Pakistan will turn into a great nation due to skills and hard work of its citizens. The prime minister said our founding fathers in Objectives Resolution had clearly stated that Pakistan would be transformed into a welfare Islamic state like Madina. He said the state of Madina became a role model for the world due to its golden principles of justice, welfare and compassion. The prime minister said any civilised society prospers because of creating equal opportunities and meritocracy. He said as part of his vision to turn Pakistan into a welfare society, Ehsaas Programme costingRs190 billion has been launched for the uplift of the poor segments of society. The prime minister said 170 shelter homes have been established in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to provide shelter to homeless. The premier expressed optimism that a lot of job opportunities will be created through Naya Pakistan Housing Programme as 40 industries are allied with construction. He said five million homes will be constructed in next four years as part of the biggest government programme to provide housing to people.

Imran Khan said Pakistan is blessed with rich natural resources and these will be fully utilised for the benefit of the nation. He regretted that corruption impeded growth of the country in the past. “We will also utilise Chinese technology to double agricultural production,” he said.

Terming youth the biggest asset of the country, the prime minister said youth of the country can make us a superpower through knowledge, skills and human development. Giving details of the programme, Imran Khan said 500,000 youth will be trained in first phase of Hunarmand Pakistan Programme.

Imran Khan appreciated the proposal of establishing National Accreditation Council as it will streamline the skills in education centre.

Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar said under this programme, the youth will be provided modern technical education leading them to start their own businesses. He said interested candidates should register themselves on the website of Kamyab Jawan Programme. He said the programme will span over the course of four years and will cost Rs30 billion which will facilitate youth through easy loans, professional capacity-building, start-ups and internships.

“There is no such thing as ‘happily ever after’… that only exists in fairy tales. In real life, there are ups and downs and smart people make sure that they use the time when they are in difficulty to propel themselves towards success later,” the prime minister said, explaining that the programme will put Pakistan on the road to success.

The premier said his government was working to revive dormant industries and to provide youth with modern skills, adding that it was unfortunate that a handful of elites progressed while the majority were ignored. He described this as an unjust system with double standards.

The prime minister said that more money will be allocated for the programme and it will be ensured that Pakistan’s youth had the skills required to secure their future. In the first phase of the programme, approximately 170,000 youth will be given professional skill-based training, of which 50,000 will be trained in areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing and other advanced areas of technology. About 50,000 youth will be trained at Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority in orthodox areas which include auto-mechanics and plumbing, whereas 20,000 youth will be given apprenticeship. Under the programme, five ‘centres of excellence’ will be established in collaboration with our allied countries, whereas around 75 smart classrooms will be made to ensure easy access to skill and professional education besides provision of such training at 70 madrassas.

Earlier, explaining how his government is trying to eliminate poverty in the country, Imran Khan maintained that the authorities had started developing a network of soup kitchens to ensure no one in this country goes hungry.

“Besides, we have the Panagah Programme, under which we started forming shelters last year to ensure that people do not have to brave extreme weathers and live on the street,” he said.

He said that with the Sehat Insaf Card, families could have medical insurance and under the Apna Ghar Programme, the government was providing the common man the opportunity to own a house. “This has never been done in this country before. Only the rich could afford to do it before,” he said, adding, “Once the case regarding land leases is resolved, we will start work on building houses.”

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