ISLAMABAD - President Mamnoon Hussain Wednesday urged the youth to selflessly serve the country with honesty and sincerity and help it fight corruption that was robbing the country of its rich potential.

He was addressing a convocation of the Foundation University Islamabad (FUI) here at the Jinnah Convention Centre attended by a large number of students their parents and faculty members.

The President said Pakistan was passing through a difficult phase and it was the obligation of the youth to positively utilise their education in helping it resolve the numerous problems it faces.

He termed corruption as one of the major ills that was eating away country’s resources and needed concerted efforts by the young educated lot to help eradicate the corrupt practices that have taken roots in all sections of the society.

The President said Pakistan was confronting three major problems - economic issues, law and order and education - and stressed concerted efforts by all sections of society to surmount these challenges. He said working in unison while respecting each other will help the country overcome many of the problems it was facing.

The President recalled that the country’s debt had swollen from Rs 6,700 billion in 2008 to Rs 14,800 in 2013 at a time when the new government came into power. He however was optimist that the efforts made by the PML-N government had started yielding positive results. In this regard he mentioned the successful floating of the Euro Bond that fetched the country US two billion dollars.

He said only an economically strong nation could help the country succeed in a modern world and that required quality education.

He also mentioned the oing talks process with the Taliban and hoped the talks succeed as peace was vital for the progress and development of the country.

The President said only those nations succeed whose youth work with zeal and commitment, particularly in the area of modern science and technology. At the same time he stressed importance of character building and said it was the key to success in building a strong nation.

The President said history was testament to the fact that only those nations succeeded that made rapid progress in areas of science and technology. He said apart from the natural resources that a country may have, its rich human resource was a vital factor that can take a nation forward. He said the country had 54 per cent youth and were all poised to play their positive role in building a strong nation.

The President said it was vital that this strong human resource was provided proper education and training so that it could optimally benefit from the country’s natural resources and also mentioned the value addition of the agriculture sector. President Mamnoon Hussain, the patron of the Foundation University, advised the young students to respect their parents and teachers who helped in their upbringing and went through lots of pain and sacrifice. He said only with persistent hard work, perseverance and discipline they could succeed in life.

He was appreciative of the role of Fauji Foundation and said it was doing a great national service by helping the public sector in providing quality health care and education.

He said it was also satisfactory to note that ever since its inception the Foundation University has progressed and set a very high standard of academic and administrative excellence in the domain of Management, Information Technology, Computer and Social Sciences and Medicine. 

He was also appreciative of the fact that the Foundation University was ranked in the highest - W4 Category by the Higher Education Commission amongst the private sector universities. It reflected the hard work of the university management and its faculty, he added.

He urged the faculty and students not to be deterred by the challenges, but to work with a zeal and commitment to take the country on the path of progress and prosperity.

He congratulated the students, particularly all those who received medals and merit awards for their outstanding and distinguished academic performance. He greeted their parents and guardians on their success and lauded their dedication and sacrifices to provide their children quality education.

President Foundation University Lt Gen Muhammad Mustafa Khan said the Foundation University was a project of the Fauji Foundation - a charitable trust for the welfare of ex servicemen of the armed forces and their dependents. He said it was also one of the largest contributors in taxes and paid Rs 122 billion last year.

Rector FUI Major General Gul Muhammad presented the university report highlighting progress and academic excellence. He said Smart Campuses were being set up with modern purpose built buildings comprising modern classrooms with video conferencing facilities.

He said a total of 784 graduates were awarded degrees that included 7 PhDs. He awarded degrees to the PhDs besides five best graduate medals and 32 gold medals amongst the outstanding students.

Chairman Higher Education Commission, Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said the universities need to pursue excellence in education and research by developing appropriate curricula and teaching practices. He noted that ten Pakistani universities have been included in the list of top 300 universities of Asia and hoped more would be added by the time of next ranking.