ISLAMABAD: “Active Participation of women across all social sectors is critical for the sustainable development of the country”, said Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for planning, Development and Reforms while talking to Katherine Russell, Ambassador at Large US Ambassy for Global Women’s Issues, when she called on the minister on Thursday.
The federal minister said “government fully recognises the fact that societies and countries cannot move forward without empowering women. Prime minister has directed to ensure 50% participation of women in PM’s Youth Loan Scheme in this regard. 22% parliamentarians are female who get equal chance in policy making process as their counter parts do.
In Pakistan female participation in nation development is growing in all fields. In education sector, girls are shinning and out performing boys. The enrolment of girl students is growing at double rate then boys”.
Federal minister further enlightened the delegate about plans for women empowerment as envisioned in 11th five-year plan and vision 2025. Federal minister acknowledged US support for providing, youth of Pakistan, opportunities to study in US institutions through scholarships and hoped for further increase in such opportunities, particularly for women.
Catherine Russell appreciated the minister for his keen interest and focus on the uplift of status of women through 5-year plan and vision 2025. She showed immense pleasure on the steps taken by the government for empowering women and recommended that equal opportunities may be provided to women belonging from remote areas.
CERN: A four-member high powered CERN Technical Team (CTT) – led by CERN’s Director for Research and Scientific Computing Dr Sergio Bertolucci also called on Prof Ahsan Iqbal, on Thursday in order to discuss opportunities for collaborative work in the field of research and human resource development.
“There is a dire need to develop capacity in the fields of science and technology to sustain growing population and meet future challenges. In order to harness the minds of brilliant youth of Pakistan, engagement between the senior scientists, engineers and experts of international level and youth of the country, can be very beneficial”, said the minister to visiting CERN delegation.
Federal Minister further highlighted “Bigger chunks have been allocated for the social development, higher education and Science & Technology although resources are limited due to mismanagement of the past. Investing specifically on ‘Applied Research’ will bring optimum results and will help in development”. Minister showed concern that very few patents are being registered by Pakistani researchers and the government assigns highest priority towards promoting innovation.
Dr Sergio Bertolucci said Pakistan has proven that it is capable to deliver in terms of technology and has few centre of excellence here.
He appreciated the vision 2025 programme and showed interests in working together in many fields including provision of access to digital Libraries for improving research in the field of science and technology.