KARACHI   -   Congratulating UIT and its team for designing Pakistan’s First Open Source RISC – V Microprocessor, President Dr Arif Alvi said that Pakistan needs more graduates in IT sector in number and quality as well because world needs more number of these graduates in this sector.

He expressed such views while addressing the ceremony “Celebrating Pakistan’s First Open Source RISC –V Microprocessor designed at UIT University,” held here at UIT University on Saturday. The chip manufacturing will be a 1.3 trillion industry by 2030 and the IT sector would be a multi-billion dollar industry in the near future which requires more than 80 million graduates in IT sector, the president articulated.

So, we should produce more graduates and government and private institutions should focus on this sector as more graduates can be produced in the country, he said, adding that Pakistan is considering setting up a quantum lab.


Appreciating some government universities, he said that the Virtual University and Quaid-e-Azam University were doing excellent job by producing graduates in the sector and in addition, they were conducting online classes for short courses to meet rising demand in the sector.

The knowledge should be open source all over the world and I always said that for the promotion of education, it is necessary to make it open source, he stressed.

In addition, the government has reduced the taxes on this sector to encourage the institutions and we would continue all kinds of such support for IT sector, he added.  Talking on the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China, he said that the Prime Minister did not ask for any other support but asked for extending collaboration in the different sectors like textile, IT and other sector on basis of win-win position.

The Pakistan has huge cheaper human resources as compared to other countries as it is country of 22 crore population, President uttered.  People should not leave the Pakistan because the country is in need of each person to make it prosper but the government should also create some opportunities for them, he informed. UIT University has done a great job by developing Pakistan’s first open source risk-based microprocessor and they have done a tremendous job in filling the huge gap in IT industry, he said while appreciating performance of UIT University.

On the occasion, Chairman Silicon Federation, Naveed Sherwani said that the forty chips and design labs would be set up all over Pakistan and UIT is the only university in Pakistan which started manufacturing a chip in a small room two years ago. Vice Chancellor Dr. Shoib Zaidi also spoke on the occasion.

He said he is dubbed a classicist that implies he belongs to a breed which is conservative in nature, blind to the computer age — it speaks volumes for the anti-intellectual atmosphere.

 “What is classicism?” he asked and replied, “Any creative work of the past which stimulates the depths of our imagination is classic. It is not the sole prerogative of the West. It just doesn’t belong to an ancient world.”

Mr Mohyeddin went down memory lane to talk about his father who used to take him along on evening walks and would often use the Shakespearian phrase, ‘What a rogue am I,’ his initial introduction to William Shakespeare. He got hooked on the bard when he saw Richard Burton play Hamlet on stage who “created magic” with his performance. It was then that he decided to acquaint himself with Shakespeare. “Shakespeare is a wonderful example of classicism.”

He shifted his focus on culture saying in the 75 years of Pakistan’s existence there’s a great deal of argumentation about culture. He mentioned ‘taste’ with reference to the subject and pointed out that “in our society the taste we profess publically is often in contrast with what we cherish in privacy.”

After discussing the Zia dictatorship briefly about the curbs on artistic pursuits in those days, he claimed that bigotry is raising its head again. He rounded off his speech by making the comment, “Books are the only testament of humanity to human beings.”

Author and historian Victoria Schofield was the second keynote speaker. She talked about the theme of this year’s festival — separation, belonging and beyond, 75 years of Pakistan — giving examples from her personal experiences.

She said she’s been coming to Pakistan for the last 44 years. Separation to her is missing friends when she’s not in Pakistan. Belonging means recapturing the friendship. “I’ve been made to feel welcome. I feel a sense of belonging when I arrive in Pakistan.”

She said she was in her twenties when she first landed in Pakistan in 1978. “I was naïve, knew nothing about the country.” It led her to talk about her friendship with slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, which inspired her to take a leap into an unknown society. Benazir Bhutto was under house arrest. Her father was in jail. The country was under military dictatorship. The subsequent visits to Pakistan increased the author’s understanding of Pakistan.

Ms Schofield, referring to Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, spoke about her understanding of the name Pakistan by mentioning what each letter means to her in the name. She mentioned ‘P’ also stands for pride, plurality, the people and perception; A for Afghans, adulthood, aspiration, ambition and the arts; K for Kashmir and kindness; I for Islam and India from which Pakistan was separated; S for stability and sport; T for tolerance and turbulence; A for aptitude and achievement and N for notoriety in a positive way.

She closed her arguments by saying that perception was the missing narrative about Pakistan. “If they have not experienced Pakistan, they don’t understand it.”

British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner highlighted the two conversations that he often has about Pakistan. One, the UK-Pakistan partnership and two, perceptions of Pakistan.

Best books awards

Earlier, Oxford University Press Managing Director Arshad Husain delivered the welcome address. Fathima Dada, MD Oxford University Press, UK and Farid Khan also spoke. Ayesha Tammy Haq moderated the opening session.

In between the speeches, Getz-Pharma awards were given to the best books of the year.

They were: best English fiction, Little America by Zain Saeed; best Urdu prose, Dubhida by Asim Bakhshi; best Urdu poetry Khwab Aatey Huay Sunai Diyey by Saleem Kausar.

The Little Book Company’s four awards for books in regional languages were won by authors Zahid Ali Abbasi (Sindhi), Dr Hanif Sharif (Balochi), Ali Anwar Ahmed (Punjabi) and Noorul Amin Yousufzai (Pashto).