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HYDERABAD, April 18 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and
Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday said Pakistan was an emerging economy of Asia and soon it would become an Asian Tiger with fully developed infrastructure and economic development.
He was speaking to faculty and students of U.S.-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W) of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Jamshoro.
The minister said through applied research and technology, the solutions to the challenges faced by Pakistan could be sought. He said that Pakistan was one of the vulnerable countries because of water shortage and climate change but the solution of those vulnerabilities lay in science, engineering and technology, he said.
He said that USPCAS-W was one of the Centres for Advanced Studies (CAS) Higher Education Project of the federal government funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Pakistan, which would provide the economical and energy efficient solution to the government for the water and energy crisis.
He said that human genius had cracked the DNA Code after continuous research and similarly the researchers of this Centre will seek the solutions of water, agriculture and climate change related issues.
He said Pakistan, in past, had missed various opportunities of economic growth and development due to political destabilization, mistrust among the federating units and lagged behind in the science and technology fields. But now, he said, the country was the next emerging economy in Asia with the most rapid economic growth in the region.
The ultimate objective of the CPEC, he said, was peace, prosperity and well-being of the people of the two countries, the region and the world.
Ahsan Iqbal said in the recent past, Pakistan was considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world but during the last few years things had improved and the country had been transformed to an emerging economic power in Asia.
He said the country had to maintain six to eight percent Gross Domestic Production (DGP) growth rate as an emerging economy.
He said the present government had worked very hard by leveraging the resources, investing in human capital, infrastructure and transformation of science and technology.
The minister said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a fusion of multiple developments in the global, regional, bilateral and domestic contexts.
He said Pakistan through CPEC was going to add 10,000 MW electricity to the national grid by May 2018, bridging the entire gap in demand and supply.
He said infrastructure development would open new vistas of development in other fields in the country. Hyderabad-Karachi Motorway would convert the both cities in the twin cities while the construction work on the Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway, Sukkur-Multan Motorway and other routes start very soon.
He said the government was establishing campuses in each and every district of the country to produce efficient human resources.Replying to questions of the students related to the water accord of 1991 and renewable energy sources, Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan had a history of mistrust among the federating units and, therefore, solidarity among them was too much necessary to take decisions in larger national interest.
Everyone had to respect the 1991 accord as it was a unanimously agreed document while now the units politically disagreed to evolve consensus on new water reservoirs on the other side, he remarked.
He said that the base load was prerequisite for renewable energy sources, and through the CPEC the base load for the solar and
wind energy sources was being developed.
He said that respective research and development organizations such as SUPARCO and Survey of Pakistan were being directed for sharing basic data with the researchers. Entrepreneurs were also being encouraged to invest in developing software and mobile applications
(Apps) in the country, he added.
The minister also visited the new building of USPCAS-W where Vice Chancellor Dr Mohammad Aslam Uqaili briefed him about the academic and research performance of the university.
Project Director USPCAS-W Prof Dr Bakshal Khan Lashari also briefed the minister about the new building of USPCAS-W, laboratories and
facilities provided to the students.
Among others, Pro-Vice Chancellor MUET Prof Dr Tauha Hussain Ali, Dean Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering Prof Dr Khan Muhammad Brohi and Deputy Director (Academics and Research) USPCAS-W Prof Dr. Rasool Bux Mahar were also present on the occasion.