Mashood opens first Prime Minister Youth Development Centre

LAHORE   -   Prime Minister’s Youth Programme Chairman Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan has said that the future of Pakistan lies in the hands of its youth. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Prime Minister Youth Development Centre at Superior University here on Monday, he said that opportunities were available at national and international levels for youths who were passionate and committed. He emphasized that it was the government’s job to provide platforms and facilitate young minds, adding, “We did this throughout our life. We introduced a number of youth initiatives in the past and are proud of it.” He noted that Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif had a special vision for the youth, which was why Punjab introduced the first Youth Policy in 2010 when Shehbaz Sharif was the Chief Minister of Punjab. It was determined in the policy that if Pakistan were to make progress, it must invest in its youths, he added. Consequently, the Punjab government distributed laptops, established the Punjab Education Endowment Fund, Daanish schools, and held youth festivals to engage the youth positively. Additionally, the Punjab Skill Development Company was established to impart skills to the youth, he added. He mentioned that the Punjab Endowment Fund had started in 2008, with 2 billion rupees added to it annually. “Within ten years, it had amassed 24 billion rupees. The profits from the fund allowed the Punjab government to cover the educational expenses of the poor but talented students, benefiting more than 450,000 students,” he added. He highlighted that the development of Punjab was a part of Pakistan’s development but not the whole. The challenge was to introduce a system ensuring all provinces progress together, he added. He added that Allah Almighty gave them another opportunity as Shehbaz Sharif was now the Prime Minister of Pakistan. “We are going to start the biggest Youth Programme of Pakistan under the banner of the Prime Minister Youth Programme, and soon the Pakistan Endowment Fund will be launched. Private university students could also benefit from it,” he maintained. Rana Mashood said another laptop initiative would be launched soon, allowing students of government and private institutions to benefit from it. Students would be provided with laptops of their choice, with banks offering loans for them, while the Prime Minister Youth Programme would cover the interest, he added. He also mentioned that under the Innovation Award Programme, the youth would be fully supported if their ideas were selected and proved their worth. He stated that the IT industry currently stands at $2.5 billion. “We are aggressively investing in the IT sector, aiming to make it a $25 billion industry within the next four years. In collaboration with the National Vocational and Training Commission, projects are being launched to engage 1 million to 1.5 million youths in and outside Pakistan in various streams, he added. Rana Mashood said the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was working for economic revival of the country. “Due to positive steps by the government, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are set to invest in Pakistan,” he said and added that Shehbaz Sharif was going to China soon, and it was hoped that many industries would relocate to Pakistan, opening windows of opportunity in every stream and creating millions of jobs. Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme chairman inaugurated the first Prime Minister Youth Development Centre at Superior University. Professor Dr. Chaudhry Abdul Rehman, Superior University’s Rector Sumaira Rehman, students, and faculty members welcomed Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan on his arrival. He also visited the library, Aero Lab, and other parts of the university.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt