ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST) at Mang in Haripur city, said he was pondering the introduction of a law to direct recovered black money towards education funds.
The premier added that he wanted to divert the money recovered “corrupt individuals” through the government’s asset recovery unit towards education.
“The more we invest in education, the more secure our children and country’s future will be,” the premier said, acknowledging that his government had failed to “focus on education” since it came to power. He further said that this failure was due to a “game of survival”.
PM Imran pointed out that the incumbent government’s first year was spent on “stabilizing the economy” while the second year was focused on dealing with the pandemic. “Now, my attempt is that we as a nation need to decide that wherever we save money from, we divert it to education,” he said.
PM Imran added that Pakistan needed to move towards becoming a knowledge economy to progress and “free our minds” from colonialism — something that diverted the country from its path 15-20 years after the independence in 1947.
“The dependency syndrome was put on us [after independence],” the prime minister said.
“We do not want to become good slaves [but] we want to find our way. And this will happen through knowledge economy,” he said. Pakistan was also at an advantage, he added, as the country had a young population and “a lot of talent”.
PM Imran said the setting up of a university in Haripur was a “big start” towards the goal and that Fachhochschule Oberösterreich was a “big engineering university in Austria”.
“This is a big step in the right direction for Pakistan — not just for KP and Haripur,” he noted.
The premier also thanked the people who had virtually joined the inauguration in China and Austria, adding that Pakistan looked forward to future cooperation with those countries as well.
PM Imran also pondered aloud why Pakistan did not produce its scientists or inventions and why did not have technological juggernauts such as Facebook and Microsoft — which are bigger than the country’s economy.
“That’s because the [West] have opted for technology and innovation and we have become the copies,” the PM said, adding that it was now the right time for the country to take up that path.
“The concept underlying the PAF-IAST program is to contribute towards the development of a broad-based balanced industrial economy in Pakistan,” he said on Twitter.
The official twitter account added that the institute sought to “promote expansion and enhancement of higher education quality in engineering, science and technology”.
The education facility would have a “parallel focus on the development of a hi-tech industry” in Pakistan, it added.