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Agencies
January 2, 2020

Do not be afraid of dreaming big: PM Imran Khan

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A
Agencies
January 2, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, on Wednesday said that the vision of making Pakistan an 'Asian Tiger' by previous governments of the country was a small vision and that turning the country into a model state like Medina was reflective of a better thought.

Imran made the statement while addressing the ceremony of laying foundation of new campus of the Air University in Islamabad. "Do not be afraid of dreaming big," the premier told students. "Education is a scared duty. We [people of Pakistan] have to move towards understanding that," the premier noted, adding that education was also the vision of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). The PM Imran lauded the efforts made by the administration of the university for the new campus, saying the new establishment would be the campus of the 'space age'.

Addressing the students at the university, the prime minister said that students needed to dream big and realise their potential. He noted that those who dreamed big went a long way in life. "My life experience tells me humans have been given the power to turn into reality whatever they can picture. Mankind is the best of creations (Ashraf-ul-Makhluqaat)," the premier said on the occasion. "We live all our lives without realising our potential. We do not dream. We are afraid of dreaming big and going after big things," the premier lamented, in a bid to motivate the students present at the ceremony. "The vision for a person determines how far he will go in life. Nations also have visions, and unfortunately, previous leaders had a vision that Pakistan would become an Asian Tiger," PM Imran said, apparently in reference to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.

"It is a small vision. In my vision, I dreamed of making Pakistan a welfare state like Medina. My vision is based on the lessons of history, and there is a reason we should learn from history," he remarked. "Pensions were started first in the state of Medina," PM Imran noted, adding that the rule of law, humanitarian principles and education were the basis of the welfare state of Medina. "The people of Pakistan faced harsh times in 2019, but now, thanks to the Almighty, the economy is stable and I foresee 2020 to be an year of growth for Pakistan," the premier said, reinforcing the statement he had made a day earlier.

PM Imran talked at length about the economic policies of his government, noting that the rupee was about to crash when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came into power and corrective measures were needed. "[The corrective measures] had an effect on the common man of the country as the price of petrol, diesel and other necessities increased," the premier said in reference to the inflation in Pakistan. "I am optimistic and I am sure that 2020 will take Pakistan forward," he immediately added, attempting to reassure the students that the problems were only temporary and solvable in the long run.

Referring to the crop production in Pakistan, PM Imran informed the audience that the country had lower yields than India but measures could be introduced to increase it. "Pakistan has a lot of potential; there is mineral wealth in every part of the country, we can provide food security to the Middle East, our potential is such,” he said. Talking about resources not being used in an efficient manner, he noted that Pakistan's milk yield from farm animals was less then that of China and India. "We do not use our resources in an efficient manner, water for instance. Nations having less of this resource but draw more benefit from it then we do," he expressed.

Touching upon another important topic, the PM told the audience that tourism in the country has a lot of potential. "In 2018- 19 the tourism in Pakistan increased exponentially, Conde Nast Traveler and Backpackers Travel Magazine placed the country as the best tourist destination." “Why do we need to do expand it more? Because countries like Malaysia generate $20billion, Turkey $40billion and Switzerland - which is half the size of our northern areas - generates $80billion, while our total exports are of only $25billiion,” he remarked.

In relation to the welfare projects, the PM said that as the state of Medina cared for the poor, the government had also taken steps to provide relief to the people. "We are also working for the poor and the needy. The government has opened soup kitchens (langars) and aims to expand them throughout the country.” To provide a helping hand to the people, products are now available at cheaper rates in the utility stores, he informed the audience. Referring to the recently introduced health card he said that by the end of this year it would be provided to majority of the poor people, from which they could spend up to Rs700,000 on their health. “For people who sleep outside on the streets we have opened shelter houses and aim to increase them. My aim is for Pakistan to become a welfare state and we are moving forward towards it."

“I pray that Air University becomes one that encourages youth to move forward, and equips them with such skills that they can compete in the market and can acquire jobs easily,” he said.