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Pakistan to develop by improving education, health sectors: Alvi

By Zubair Ashraf
March 14, 2021

KARACHI: President Arif Alvi said on Saturday that the country needed to take a quantum leap towards including women, minorities and people with different abilities in the country.

Unveiling the name of Salim Habib University, formerly known as Barrett Hodgson University, at a ceremony here, Alvi said that if Pakistan could improve its education and health sectors then it was just a generation away from becoming a developed nation.

Emphasising on the need to strengthen the human capital, he said that since Japan and Germany had talented and educated people in their societies, they were able to recover from the losses in no time. He added that Pakistan also needed a structure in which its human capital could be invested.

He said that the country had learned a lot from its past mistakes of nurturing the “jihadi” mindset which not only left the society polarized but also isolated the country globally, and now was the time to move forward and take everyone on board.

Referring to tiding over Covid-19 pandemic, Alvi attributed that "to the policy decision of Prime Minister Imran Khan who was the only world leader to decide against complete lockdown, owing to the economic conditions which would have thrust the country’s people into suffering and hunger.”

Regarding inclusivity, the president said “we have envisioned a New Pakistan based on compassion like it was during Riyasat-e-Madina so that the exploitation of all kinds could be removed from the society and everyone could enjoy equal rights and opportunities.” He said that the inclusive societies have more chances to grow than the conservative ones but the change would not come overnight. He said Europe had to go through centuries of darkness before becoming a progressive society.

The president said that the country had no dearth of talent but of opportunities due to which the educated and the talented people opted to move abroad in search of better jobs. He added that however the technology had solved this problem to a greater extent by making the world a global village.

He lauded the efforts of the management of Salim Habib University to make quality education accessible and affordable to everyone. He said that Pakistan had produced iconic philanthropists, like Salim Habib and Abdul Razzak Tabba, who were leading examples of selfless work for the world.

Earlier speaking on the occasion, Dr Iram Afaq, chancellor of the university and CEO of the Salim Habib Education Foundation, said that it was her strong belief that in order to succeed, the country must empower its education system by addressing the learning gaps in the society.

Lauding the efforts of Dr Salim Habib, Afaq said that “the university was created in the face of many challenges. [But] we pushed hard and were persistent in our mission. [And] we have built an institution that is predicated upon values of integrity and transparency.”

Ali Naqvi, one of the architects of the varsity and a member of its board of governors, told The News that they had gathered today to pay tributes to Salim Habib who gave away his lifelong earnings for the cause of education. He said that the university had state-of-the-art campus and a highly qualified faculty to provide internationally-acclaimed education to students here in the country. Pakistan cricket team’s former skipper Shahid Afridi, was appointed as the university’s brand ambassador. The event was attended by notables, including former leader of the opposition in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi and others.