LAHORE – Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday described the Minar-e-Pakistan incident as shameful and stressed the need for imparting moral education to the young generation in the light of the supreme qualities of the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
“The young generation must be acquainted with the Seerat of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) for character building”, he said while addressing “Punjab Education Convention 2021” here at the Governor House.
The prime minister said that the recent incidents of women harassment were not a part of our culture or religion. He attributed the lack of proper guidance and upbringing of the youth as the main reason for the present deterioration in the society. “I feel ashamed and pained to see such unpleasant incidents”, the prime minister said, adding that such incidents would never happen in Lahore when he was growing up.
“Nobody could have even thought of such acts taking place in that time”, he said. Imran Khan further stated that he had been to the entire world, but the kind of respect for women he saw while growing up here existed only in the Muslim countries. “I did not see it in the West at that time”, he added.
11 members ready to leave Jahangir Tareen, Nazir Chohan tells PM
“The only way to educate our children is to make them aware of the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him),” he maintained. The premier said the world had high esteem for the distinct characteristics of the Holy Prophet’s (PBH) character and life. “He was a Sadiq and Ameen and the whole world respected him,” he added. Stressing that the integrity and honesty were the hallmarks of a true leadership, the prime minister regretted that the past rulers never laid emphasis on education as it was not their priority.
“No one ever thought of one curriculum in the country,” he added. In the past democratic culture, he said, the rulers would always prioritise short term projects like the metro to get publicity for their election campaigns, he said.
The prime minister said that the English medium education system introduced in the country by the British rulers had alienated the students from their basic culture. “After the independence, they should have worked on the education system with one curriculum, but they ended up in three parallel education systems-the religious seminaries, English medium and government owned schooling”, he averred. “In the past, best intellectuals had been groomed in the government owned schools, but later, the system waned and the private sector thrived making us servants of an alien culture,” he observed.
The prime minister also lauded federal minister Shafqat Mahmood and Punjab minister for their efforts over bringing reforms in the education sector especially introduction of single curriculum and the e-system. He termed it a turning point and said that these reforms would take time to yield results. The prime minister further said that Lord Macaulay wanted to create a class in the sub-continent through a privileged educational system. Criticizing the policies of past rulers, he said: “The elite and privileged class always thought that their children would get the English education, then avail the employment opportunities and would be treated as a privileged class”. “By opening an English education institute of foreign repute, people reaped huge profits”, he added.
Fifty years back, the prime minister said, Pakistan had been progressing at rapid speed even countries like S. Korea and Malaysia studied the upward trends in the country. The US president used to come to the airport to welcome Pakistani counterparts, he added. The prime minister said the English language should not be made a status symbol and expressed his displeasure at conducting official functions in the English language as the majority of commoners who watched TV did not understand it.
In Parliament, he said, speeches had been made in English language to impress the people. “It should be used as a medium for getting higher education. Mother tongue is the best medium for imparting education to the children which is helpful in their understanding,” he observed. The prime minister cited that children in their nascent ages could learn a lot if imparted through their respective mother tongues, and cited Switzerland where the children could speak multi-languages.
“Whether in China, Japan or France, do they have different sets of educational curriculum? He posed a question, reiterating that a single curriculum produced one nation.
Lauding efforts of the Punjab government and the provincial education minister, he said that though they had been undertaking huge work in the province, it was not properly projected. “The reason for not doing it, might be that the provincial government did not want to publicize its good deeds when compared with the previous government which even went for wide publication of its negligible work”
The prime minister also observed that with the use of modern technology, different issues like corruption and wastage of resources could be overcome. He cited the paperless working of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and the E-governance system at the federal cabinet level. The prime minister said in the past, no focus was made on the construction of dams for generation of cheap and clean power as no one ever thought of the future generations. Expensive power generation was made on costly fuels, he said, adding that forests were destroyed.
‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’
He also stressed upon the significance of his government’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project which had been launched for securing the future of coming generations.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, on the occasion, said that budget allocation for the education sector was enhanced besides, over 200 per cent allocation for higher education. Primary education throughout the province had been ensured with drastic steps, he added. The online services and facilitation was provided to the teachers and students, besides focusing on the education of transgender’s community, he said. Provincial Minister for Education Murad Raas gave an overview of the steps taken for the promotion of education in the province.
In a meeting with the Punjab government high ups here, the Prime Minister Imran Khan showed indignation over the slow response by the police over the Minar-e-Pakistan incident, according to the sources, privy to the meeting.
The sources said that the PM showed his displeasure over the poor security arrangements made at the Greater Iqbal Park on the day of the unfortunate incident.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik and Inspector General of Police Punjab Inam Ghani were present in the meeting. They briefed the prime minister about the overall law and order situation and the administrative steps taken against land grabbers, price hike and hoarding in the province.
The prime minister was also apprised of the steps taken for the protection of women. He directed for strict and immediate steps for ending crime incidents against women and for their protection. Immediate measures must be taken to ensure stringent punishment to the culprits, he added. The prime minister also directed for ensuring steps for the protection of lives and properties of the citizens.
‘First smart forest’
Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday inaugurated country’ first smart forest in Sheikhupura as part of the Ravi River Urban Project.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that massive forestation was vital to save the country for the coming generations. “If we want to hand over a green and clean Pakistan to our next generation, plantation is the foremost solution,” he said.
The prime minister regretted that deforestation in the country over the time and termed it disastrous in terms of climate change.
He recalled that Lahore, once used to be called as City of Gardens, had turned into a polluted place with pollutants touching the hazardous levels.
The prime minister said the growth of every plant would be monitored in collaboration with the tech giant Huawei.
He said sensors would keep a vigil on ruthless cutting of trees and expressed confidence that the project would be replicated in other parts of the country.
He mentioned that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one billion trees had been planted and highlighted the ongoing countrywide campaign of planting ten billion trees to make the country green.
Earlier, the prime minister planted a sapling in the forest, which is the first of its kind being equipped with technology sensors and surveillance systems.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and senior officials of the Punjab government were present.
The Rakh Jhok Forest is a project of Ravi Urban Development Authority covering 24,000 kanals of land. Technology giant Huawei will be the smart partner in the project.
Talking about the Ravi River Urban Project, the prime minister said that besides its environmental benefits, the project was expected to generate $40 billion revenue for the country. “The project will not only prove beneficial for Lahore, but for the entire country in addressing the environmental and financial problems,” he said at the launch of the country’s first-ever ‘Smart Forest’ near Sheikhupura under the Ravi Urban project.
The prime minister said the project would stop the sewage water seep into Punjab’s River Ravi, which ultimately flowed up to the River Indus passing through Sindh. Under the Ravi Urban project, he said, around 10 million trees would be planted besides construction of three barrages at the river. Filtration plants will ensure provision of clean water to the public, he added.
He asked Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to remain undeterred amidst challenges and work towards timely completion of the project.
Imran Khan termed water scarcity, deforestation and glacier melting the biggest challenge for the country, which was among the ten most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. “Therefore, the Ravi project is not only important for Lahore but for the entire country,” he stressed.
‘Nazir Chohan calls on PM’
Once part of the famous JKT group, MPA Nazir Chohan Wednesday said that 11 members of the group were ready to leave Jahangir Khan Tareen at any time.
He said this while talking to the media after his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at Governor House Lahore.
Predicting disintegration of the group, Chohan said that he would soon be meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar along with these members who would announce their dissociation from Jahangir Tareen.
Giving details of his meeting with the prime minister, he said he went to see the premier to apologize over his past conduct vis-à-vis Shahzad Akbar. At first, the PM scolded me but later forgave as I was apologetic”, he said, adding that he was ashamed of his past conduct.
It may be recalled here that Nazir Chohan had questioned the faith of PM’s aide Shahzad Akbar, but later retracted from his statement after the latter sued him in the court.
‘Aab-e-Pak Authority project’
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and apprised him about meeting with European Parliament members, Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority and various other matters including university reforms.
According to the details, during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Lahore on Wednesday, Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar met the Premier at Governor House Lahore. In addition to political and administrative matters, Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar’s efforts for extension in GSP plus status for Pakistan and university reforms came under discussion.
During the meeting, the governor apprised Prime Minister Imran Khan that he was in contact with the Vice President of the European Parliament, Fabio Massimo Castaldo and other members of the European Parliament for extension of GSP Plus status and will soon visit the European Parliament for this purpose. He briefed the Prime Minister that the Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority was working expeditiously on 1500 projects across Punjab including Lahore which will provide clean drinking water to about 8 million people and all these projects will be completed by December this year. He further said that transparency was being ensured in the projects and the projects are being implemented without any political discrimination.
Chaudhry Sarwar further told Imran Khan that reforms were being introduced in all the universities of Punjab. He said that as the Chancellor of Universities of Punjab, he supervised all the matters himself for timely redressal of complaints and matters, adding that the universities of Punjab were now ranked amongst the top universities of the world.
Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the governor to expedite the projects of Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority and said that provision of facilities to the people in health and education and other sectors was the top priority of the government for which all resources were being utilised.
‘LG minister, Senator Ejaz Ch call on PM’
Provincial Minister for Local Government and Community Development Punjab Mian Mehmood ur-Rasheed called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Wednesday.
The minister briefed the prime minister about the new local government system and his government’s preparation for the upcoming local elections.
Separately, Senator Ejaz Ch along with a party delegation called on the prime minister at the Governor House on Wednesday. Current political situation and the party’s organizational matters came under discussion during the meeting.