Islamabad, July 17, 2019
While talking to participants of a Leadership Development Program at COMSATS University
Islamabad, Shehryar Afridi, Minister of State for States and Frontier Regions and
Narcotics Control shared his life experiences iterating students to devote themselves
whole heartedly towards achieving excellence and committing to a life with no tolerance
for corruption or nepotism.
While sharing his views, he said that Pakistan is facing immense challenges and
the present government is also committed to set forth a strategic direction of the
country in the areas of human development, poverty alleviation and long term infrastructural
development. While recognizing the centrality of increasing the tax base in Pakistan,
he said that the resolve of the nation is unfettered as it benefits from a youth
bulge in the country.
He encouraged participants of the course to adopt a leadership role in community
service and development of human resource in the country. Later the Minister called
on the University Rector Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, and lauded the achievements of
COMSATS University Islamabad, stating that Kohat, his hometown must also benefit
from a campus of the varsity, which is world ranked and a matter of pride for the
Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar informed the Minister that being a leading world ranked Public
Sector University of the nation, CUI had been deprived off development funds over
several years, which had stented the growth of the university. Furthermore, he informed
the minister that budgetary cuts had resulted in stoppage of the Prime Minister’s
Scheme for Fee Reimbursement, which was impacting middle class parents from deprived
areas from being able to access higher education for their children.
Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar said that CUI and the higher education sector at large, has
very high hopes from the present government owing to the vision of the Prime Minister
to prioritize human development over infrastructure. CUI will always remain ready
to render services and consultancy to the government in its programs on education,
knowledge led economy and infrastructure development.
Mr. Afridi pledged support of his office for seeking scholarships and development
budget for the university. He said that the university must look into newer avenues
as well as philanthropists to contribute towards its funding stream and enhance
numbers of foreign students in its student body. The minister also called for increasing
interaction between government functionaries and universities. Later he also paid
a visit to the Junaid Zaidi Central Library.