KARACHI - Federal Planning, Development and Reform Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan’s economic prosperity was linked with the durable peace of Karachi, the economic nerve of the country.

He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Centre for Bio-equivalence Studies and Clinical Research (CBSCR) held at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU) here on Saturday.

He said, “China-Pakistan economic corridor is a fate changer for Pakistan. The government focuses on the export goal of $150 billion by 2025. Economic stability and prosperity was possible through knowledge-based research oriented society. Pakistan plans to setup US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor that can help the country learn from the US experiences and achievements in the fields of education, science and technology.”

KU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr M Qaiser, former chairman Higher Education Commission Prof Dr Attaur Rehman, ICCBS Director Prof Dr Iqbal Chaudhry, HEJ Foundation Chairman Aziz Latif Jamal and Chairperson Dr Punjwani Memorial Trust Nadira Panjwani, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) Chairman Saeed Allawala and Dr Sonia Siddiqui also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, the federal minister along with other dignitaries inaugurated the newly constructed building of the CBSCR. Delivering inaugural lecturer, Prof Ahsan Iqbal said government increased the higher education budget from 43 billion rupees to 78 billion rupees that showed the government priorities.

Higher education will be available to doorstep of every Pakistani. Government needs 10,000 PhDs who will play key role to turn Vision-2025 into a victorious venture, he added. He said, “The federal government setup National Curriculum Council (NCC) to reform the education sector. NCC will introduce standardised examination system all over the country in the aftermath of devolving this subject to the provinces under the 18th constitutional amendment. The prime aim of the NCC is to inculcate critical thinking among the students.” He urged the youth to change their ways of thinking and asked to develop positive thinking. He highlighted the importance of self-believe in the life of an individual, saying this get anyone on the way of progress. He appreciated the efforts made by the leadership of ICCBS to make this research establishment as the world class institution. He promised the audience that his government would not stop supporting the university and the ICCBS.

Dr Qaiser said the university played pivotal role in terms of promoting higher education. Great research and academic activities at the ICCBS were also a good example in this regard.

Prof Attaur Rehman appreciated the government step of increasing the higher education budget from Rs43 billion to Rs78 billion. He advised the minister that if the government took some more positive steps like this, the higher education sector could be more successful. “Muslim world needs to perform remarkably in higher education and science and technology. The only Cambridge University has produced around 90 noble laureates so far. Contrary to that in the Muslim world the situation is very miserable,” he added.

Talking to media, he urged the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders to mull their resignation decision. The federal minister advised the MQM leaders to come to Parliament for the solution of their issues instead of resigning.