ISLAMABAD, Jan 9 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday reiterated that contrary to the past, Pakistan would never become part of anyone’s war and rather would play a role for promoting peace among countries.

“We will fully strive for the establishment of friendly relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” he said while addressing the launching ceremony of Rs 30 billion `Hunarmand Pakistan’ programme here.

The prime minister said he had also offered US President Donald Trump that Pakistan was ready to play a role in promoting friendly relations between the United States and Iran.

“No one wins the war, and the one that wins, also loses,” Imran Khan remarked, adding Pakistan had paid a high price in the war against terrorism.

He vowed to transform Pakistan into a model and peaceful country that would play a lead role in promoting peace among states.

The prime minister described the youth as the “biggest asset” of the country, saying the Pakistanis were the 2nd youngest population and its skilled youth alone could change the destiny of the country and the nation.

He said the present government was hugely investing in the country’s human resource, particularly the youth, which were neglected in the past through various education systems based on discrimination between the rich and the poor.

The prime minister said under the “Hunarmand Pakistan” programme, 500,000 youth would be equipped with the skills of modern technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics etc. during the next four years, which had had brought about a technical revolution in the world.

In the first phase, the government had allocated Rs 10 billion for the training of 170,000 youth, he added.

Imran Khan said that under the prgramme 500 technical training centers would be opened across the country, and 70 of them in Madaris (religious seminaries). The present government had adopted 2.5 million children of Madaris – which were never taken care of in the past – and brought them into the national mainstream.

The prime minister said under the Hunarmand Pakistan programme, 300 smart technical centers, affiliated with international quality institutes, would also be opened across the country.

He lauded the establishment of a National Accreditation Institute, which would ensure standardization and certification of the skills and technical training centers, and help the skilled youth in getting jobs.

The prime minister in this respect referred to NAMAL College Mianwali and said over 95% of the NAMAL graduates and degree holders easily got jobs due to the standard and quality of education rendered there.

“We have to train and give skills to our youth so that they can get jobs and feed their families,” he said and questioned how many jobs the government could offer. The government’s job was to create an environment for job opportunities,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the present government was striving to make Pakistan a truly welfare state in line with the vision of founding fathers as well as the philosophy of Madina State, the main principles of which were justice and humanity.

The government, he said, had allocated a huge amount of Rs 190 billion for the Ehsaas Programme under which efforts were being made to lift the poor and neglected segments of country for the first time.

The prime minister said 170 Panahgahs (shelter homes) had so far been established in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces so that the poor and homeless people got shelter and food for free.

“I have asked the patrolling police in Islamabad to check and take the poor people sleeping on footpaths and open areas during night hours, to the shelter homes,” he added.

The prime minister also mentioned his yesterday’s visit to a Utility Stores Corporation outlet in G-9 Markaz and said the government had allocated Rs 7 billion as subsidy for the provision of basic commodities to low income groups on cheaper rates through the Utility Stores.

He said the government had also launched Sehat Insaf Card (health insurance system) for the poor under which a family having the card was entitled to spend Rs 720,000 for medical treatment. With 6 million people already benefitting from the facility, the government was committed to provide health insurance to all the poor families across the country.

Similarly, the prime minister said the government was opening “Langar” (free food points) for the poor and destitute near slums.

He also referred to the government’s low housing scheme and said five million housing units would be constructed during the next four years, which, besides creating jobs, would stimulate economic growth by boosting 40 allied industries.

The prime minister said agricultural was another area, which was neglected in the past, and the present in cooperation with China was striving to boost the vital sector and double the productivity though the introduction of innovative technologies.

Earlier, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Education Shafqat Mehmood and Special Assistant to the PM on Youth Affairs Usman Dar, in their remarks, highlighted various aspects of the Hunarmand Pakistan programme and the government’s efforts to equip the youth with modern technology and high skills.