ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that his government was planning to introduce a law to divert and utilise recovered black money towards education.
PM Imran Khan — while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST) at Mang in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Haripur city — said he was pondering passing a law to divert money brought in from "corrupt individuals" by the government’s asset recovery unit towards education.
"The more we invest in education, the more secure our children and country’s future will be," the premier said, acknowledging that his government had failed to "focus on education" since it came to power.
The failure of the ruling party's focus on education, he continued, was due to a "game of survival" it faced after coming into power.
The PTI regime's first year was spent on "stabilising the economy" while the coronavirus pandemic intervened in the second year, he noted. "Now, my attempt is that we as a nation need to decide that wherever we save money from, we divert it to education," he said.
PM Imran added that Pakistan needed to move towards becoming a knowledge economy in order to progress and "free our minds" from colonialism — something that diverted the country from its path 15-20 years after the independence in 1947.
"The dependency syndrome was put on us [after independence]," the prime minister said. Reminiscing about his cricketing days, he shared an example wherein his seniors told the team during his first tour to England that their tour would be a "big success" if they lost "respectfully".
"We do not want to become good slaves [but] we want to find our own way. And this will happen through knowledge economy," he said. Pakistan was also at an advantage, he added, as the country had a young population and "a lot of talent".
PM Imran said the setting up of a university in Haripur was a "big start" towards the goal and that Fachhochschule Oberösterreich was a "big engineering university in Austria".
"This is a big step in the right direction for Pakistan — not just for KP and Haripur," he noted.
The premier also thanked the people who had virtually joined the inauguration in China and Austria, adding that Pakistan looked forward to future cooperation with those countries as well.
Earlier, the Prime Minister's Office had said the institute is one of the initiatives of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government that "envisages to create highly credible technical education infrastructure both at tertiary and hi-tech industry levels".
"The concept underlying the PAF-IAST program is to contribute towards the development of a broad-based balanced industrial economy in Pakistan," the PM's Office said on Twitter.
It added that the institute sought to "promote expansion and enhancement of higher education quality in engineering, science and technology".
The education facility would have a "parallel focus on the development of a hi-tech industry" in Pakistan, it added.