Wednesday, September 28, 2022

PM Shehbaz Sharif hints at resuming free laptop program for youth

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday hinted at the resumption of the free laptop program for youth.

PM Shehbaz Sharif made an informal interaction with a delegation of students from Harvard University USA who called on him in Islamabad on Friday.

The delegation comprised students of diverse origins and academic backgrounds. The prime minister welcomed the students and held a candid discussion about the contemporary challenges Pakistan is facing today.

PM Shehbaz Sharif, free laptop program, Harvard University students

PM Sharif also shed light on his futuristic program of free laptops given to high achievers in PMLN’s previous tenure, which not only helped the students to continue their education in the times of COVID-19 but also helped the youth of Pakistan to get a strong foothold in the global freelance market. He said for Pakistan to develop, we need to focus on vocational, scientific and skilled education, Radio Pakistan reported.

The Prime Minister apprised the students of his vision for the development of Pakistan. The students asked questions from the Prime Minister regarding the country’s economy, IMF, Agriculture, Industry, IT and other sectors.

In response to a question about Pakistan’s economy and the IMF program, PM Shehbaz Sharif replied that Pakistan’s economic crisis stems from structural problems along with political instability in recent decades. The first few decades since the inception of Pakistan witnessed impressive growth across all sectors of the economy.

He said we had plans, national will and the implementation mechanism to produce outcomes. He said the lack of focus, energy and policy action led to the reduction in national productivity. Shehbaz Sharif said all efforts and resources have been deployed to stabilize the economy.

PM Sharif also shared that his economic action plan has three prongs; the revitalization of the economy, making Information Technology the pivot of national development and the exports leading the economy.

Replying to another question, he said the government is working on a plan to unpack the country’s huge but untapped potential in the field of information technology. It is our resolve that we increase our IT exports from the existing two billion to fifteen billion US dollars in coming years.

PM Sharif also reiterated Pakistan’s strong resolve to maintain peace in the region. He emphasized the fact that sustainable peace in South Asia is linked to the resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir issue in line with the UN resolutions and the wishes of Kashmiris.

Responding to a question about climate change, the prime minister reiterated the importance of the responsibility the developed world carries towards the developing countries like Pakistan which is less than 1% contributor to carbon emissions but is the 5th most vulnerable country regarding the effects of climate change. He also shared the government’s plans to shift from imported fuels to solar, wind and hydel energy as Pakistan has immense potential in these areas.

The students appreciated PM’s progressive approach to uplifting Pakistan’s economy, bringing peace in the region and political stability to the country. The delegation also spoke very highly of the hospitality extended to them by the government and people of Pakistan during their visit.

The premier also emphasised the importance of political stability in the country. He said that since the economy is dependent on political stability, he has repeatedly offered grand dialogue, which has the Charter of the Economy as its chief highlight.

In a reply to a question about Sino-Pak relations, The Prime Minister said that China and Pakistan are time-tested friends and their friendship gained new heights with the signing of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Prime Minister said that the relationship with China remains the cornerstone of our foreign policy. He said CPEC heralded the beginning of a new era of economic development.

Federal Ministers Dr Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Special Assistants Ahad Cheema, Syed Fahad Husain, Jahanzeb Khan, Coordinators to PM Bilal Azhar Kiyani, Rana Ihsan Afzal, Chairman HEC and officials from the concerned departments were also present at the meeting.

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