Prime Minister Imran Khan said Thursday Pakistan “will never get involved” in other countries’ wars again, referring to the recent spike in tensions between Iran and the United States after the former attacked military bases in Iraq housing American troops.
The prime minister was speaking at the launching ceremony of the “Hunermand Jawan” programme aimed at the skill development of the youth across the country.
PM Imran said Pakistan will become a country that will “serve as an example for other Muslim countries around the world and lead them”. He said Pakistan had been committing mistakes in its foreign policy “by getting involved in others’ wars”.
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“Pakistan will never participate in anyone’s war again,” he said, as the crowd erupted in cheers and thunderous applause. “Pakistan will become the country that encourages peace in other countries,” he said.
He said Pakistan will do its best to bring about peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The prime minister stated that “nobody ever wins a war”, saying that Pakistanis knew very well how much Pakistan had suffered due to the War on Terror.
“Hunermand Jawan Pakistan programme will take us on the path to where Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted us to be,” he said.
Khan spoke about the state of Medina founded by Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and said that it was a successful model that helped Muslims become a great civilisation for 700 years after him.
Prime Minister Khan said it was “only in fairy tales” that people lived happily ever after. He said life was all about “ups and downs” that came in the life of a person and nation.
He said turbulent times in a person’s life were an indication from God to bring about reforms for improvement.
The prime minister said Pakistan was deprived of God’s blessings as a handful of elite progressed while the majority were ignored. He described this as an unjust system and said it reeked of double standards.
“I call it an unjust system where the elite avail a separate class of education and the poor have to avail another. Where there is another system of health for the rich and altogether a different one for the poor. For the rich, you have ‘English medium’ education while we provide the poor with only the ‘Urdu medium’ one,” he said.
PM Khan spoke about the ‘American dream’ saying that Pakistanis who had left their countries to go to the US and other foreign countries improved their lives as that society provided them ‘equal opportunities’.
He said if the government trained the youth, they “will be enough to make Pakistan a superpower.”
“We never spent money on the people education and human development,” he said. “This is our first step for our very precious asset. Only the youth can lift Pakistan towards glory,” he added.
Khan said 2020 was the year in which the country will move forward, saying that the previous year was the one in which the government tried to stabilise the economy.
The programme, billed as the largest ever programme for the development of skilled labour in the country, is expected to be carried out in phases over the next four years, and will cost an estimated Rs30 billion.
According to Radio Pakistan, in addition to training the youth, the programme will facilitate young people in Pakistan to obtain easy loans, professional capacity-building, invest in start-ups and provide internships.
While chairing a pre-launch meeting of the “Humermand Jawan” programme, PM Imran was quoted as saying that the youth were an asset of the nation. “The program will help the youth get better job opportunities and contribute to national development,” PM Imran remarked, according to Radio Pakistan.
In the first phase of the programme, around 170,000 youth will be given professional skill-based training, of which 50,000 will be trained in areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, and cloud computing, among others.
Similarly, 50,000 youth will be given training at Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority in conventional areas including auto-mechanics, plumbing, and similar fields.
The state radio also reported that 20,000 youth will be given apprenticeship under the programme, and around 75 smart classrooms will be set up to ensure easy access to professional education.
Children at 70 religious schools will also be imparted professional training, and five Centers of Excellence will be established under the programme in collaboration with friendly countries.