ISLAMABAD - Tacitly endorsing the claim of Malik Riaz about his covert meetings with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said the meetings with the chief justice were not objectionable and the government enjoyed good relations with the top judiciary.
Talking to media persons after attending the concluding session of the Education Conference, the prime minister did not come up with a categorical reply when asked whether he held some secret meetings with the chief justice, as he simply replied that there was no objection on such meetings and quickly added that the government was enjoying cordial relations with the apex judiciary.
To another question, he said there was a broader consensus with India over resolution of all outstanding matters, including the core issue of Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek, through dialogue, the point endorsed by both sides in recently concluded secretary-level talks.
Earlier, in his address to the Educational Conference, Gilani urged the students to pay full attention to their studies. Referring to a famous quote of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, he added that the Father of the Nation had given a similar advice.
Reminding his audience that even the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was asked to recite the word ‘read’ when he was blessed to prophet hood, the prime minister claimed that the government had given a lot of importance to the education sector. He cited the presence of six globally renowned universities, which ranked amongst the best in 300 top universities of Southeast Asia, to press his argument.
Gilani also lauded late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for establishing the University Grants Commission (UGC), which gave birth to Higher Education Commission (HEC), whose models were being followed by India and Bangladesh. He also said that Pakistan was now producing 1000 PHDs annually.
Gilani also announced that he had recommended allocating 7 per cent of GDP for higher education.