Youth should fight terror: Musharraf
ISLAMABAD, Sep 13: President General Pervez Musharraf has said unemployment, inflation
and poverty are the major problems facing the country, and the government is
working to redress these problems on a priority basis.
particularly need to understand that terrorism and extremism are the main
hurdles to development, and take a stand for their elimination, said the
president while addressing a National Training and Education Commission prize
distribution ceremony here at the Convention Centre on
President Musharraf said the country faces a severe skilled
workforce shortage, and the National Training and Education Commission has been
established to generate a trained and skilled workforce in the country. The
commission is running numerous vocational centres, he said.
gaining skills and certification from these centres will not only play their due
role for the country's development, but will also increase their own incomes and
contribute to ending unemployment. "We are increasing the number of such centres
to produce a skilled workforce so they can not only get jobs in the country but
also in foreign countries. This will improve our national exchequer and
remittance," he added.
Although Pakistan is still facing the problems of
unemployment, poverty and inflation, they have decreased in severity during the
tenure of the incumbent government, the president maintained. He said people
living below the poverty line had decreased from 34 to 23 percent during his
The government is determined to raise citizens' incomes and
standard of living, and curb inflation, said the president.
said 55 to 60 percent of Pakistan's population consists of youngsters under 19.
"We can use this gigantic force for the development of the country by enhancing
their ability," he said, adding that force alone cannot eliminate extremism and
terrorism, and that the country's youth would have to stand against these forces
He said a comprehensive strategy was being pursued to
empower youths and develop a strong industrial base for a prosperous Pakistan by
imparting technical skills. The commission aims to train over 500,000 youths in
various fields to serve the needs of the country's growing industrial base, he
He said the focus in the past had been on imparting quality
primary, secondary and higher education, but little attention was paid to
training the middle tier, which is critical for a growing economy.
However, he emphasised that plans to impart quality secondary and higher
education would continue simultaneously. "It is shameful that a country with
nuclear and missile power has a literacy rate of around 55 percent."
President Musharraf referred to nine new universities focussed on
science and technology, and said these world class institutions would inject
fresh impetus in higher education and take the country towards inclusion in the
ranks of industrialised states.
National Training and Education
Commission Chairman Altaf Saleem said the commission was pursuing a short- and
medium-term plan through increased capacity utilisation of existing government
institutions. He said the number of students has risen from 330,000 to 430,000,
while 64,000 had either obtained certification or were in the final stages.
Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool, speaking at the ceremony earlier, thanked the
president for his support in making the vocational training programme a success.
He said 400 students had completed vocational training in the universities of
Punjab and many more were undergoing such training. Daily times
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