Roadmap ready to train 10,000 PhDs in US: Ahsan

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Observer Report

Islamabad—Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said that a road map has been prepared to train ten thousand PhDs in science and technology and engineering sectors.
Speaking at a discussion as the chief guest organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, the Minister presented a review of the Pakistan-US relations and discussed challenges and opportunities facing Pakistan, said a statement issued by Ministry of Planning, Reforms and Development.
Ahsan Iqbal said the Pakistan government and the United States are discussing ways and means to getting 10,000 Pakistani Ph.D students trained in American universities.
He presented a broader vision of the Paki-stan’s future economic growth and the steps being taken by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif since taking over in 2013 to put the country on the path of stability and prosperity.
The Minister informed the select gathering that the Pakistan government has drawn a roadmap to train 10,000 Ph. Ds scholars in different areas in-cluding science, technology, engineering, math as well as in the social sciences for the country’s de-velopment and growth. He said the government is allocating from its own resources and funds for developing the Ph.D program,
“We are working and discussing with US uni-versities and the administration ways and means of partnership through which we can leverage our own resources and maximize the value to have our goal of 10,000 Ph.Ds get trained in US universities in the next 10 years,” the Minister said.
If that happened, the minister expressed the confidence that the following decade will be a dec-ade of very fast economic growth for Pakistan. “This is the journey which has brought me here to the United States.”
Ahsan Iqbal said that during the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, being held in Washington on Feb. 29, “we hope we can operationalize this very important future-making initiative between Pakistan and the United States.
In his remarks, the Minister recalled the long history of partnership with US which began with the Independence of Pakistan in 1947.
However, he regretted that because of the geo-strategic scenario of the past, the two countries structured their relationship through the prism of geo-strategic and security.
“There was so much more in Pakistan, so much more in this partnership which could have translated this relationship into a broad-based relationship,” he added.
He said when the present government came into power in 2013, it inherited a legacy of a relationship which was again shaped by security imperatives of the past. The minister said by 2013, Pakistan was unfor-tunately painted very negatively in the media and there was a lot of pessimism.
However, this government had an agenda to change the narrative through focusing on the strength of the Pakistani society.
As a result of these efforts, the Minister said that in two- hand-a-half years, Pakistan is coming with a new image. The government has cut down energy shortages and the country is on its way to overcome the energy crisis by 2018.
On the terrorism front, he said as a result of a very successful military operation, Pakistan has been made a secure and safe place and the govern-ment was able to put the country on a path where extremist elements are almost running for havens outside Pakistan.

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