Speech of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Prime Minister of Pakistan At Inauguration Ceremony of Air University Multan Campus

Islamabad: Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman,

Chief of the Air Staff and Chairman Board of Governors, Air University,

Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, Chairman Higher Education Commission

Dr Ijaz Ahmad Malik, Vice Chancellor, Air University,

Distinguished Guests,

Respected Faculty Members,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Asalamo-Alaikum

It is indeed a great pleasure for me to preside over the inauguration ceremony of Air University Campus at Multan. It has been my fervent desire and consistent endeavour to address the grievances of Southern Punjab. The opening of the campus of Air University today is a major step in that direction.

On this occasion, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the Chief of the Air Staff and Chairman Board of Governors, Air University, Vice Chancellor Air University and his entire team who made my vision of establishing a reputed seat of higher learning in Southern Punjab a reality within a short span of time. The establishment of this Campus is in line with the contributions of the Gilani family in the areas of education and health.

My father rendered valuable services as the minister for health. He played central role in getting district headquarters hospitals (DHQs) established in many areas such as Multan, Mianwali, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan.

In addition to these, he was also the leading spirit behind the establishment of Nishtar Hospital and medical College Multan.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The expansion of Mayo Hospital Lahore and Samli Sanatorium Murree also took place during his stint as the Minister for Health.

My father laid the foundation-stone of LSMF medical school in Victoria Hospital Bahawalpur.

He worked very hard for Anjman-e-Islamia Multan along with his brothers. A number of schools were opened by him. Some educational achievements of Anjman-e-Islamia include Gilani Law College, Walayiat Hussain Islamia College, Alamdar Hussain College, Ghulam Mustafa Shah Girls College, Shaukat Hussain KG School, Islamia High School Harm Gate, Islamia High School Aam Khaas Bagh, Islamia High School Daulat Gate and Raza Shah Public School.

Ladies and Gentlemen

It goes without saying that the Universities impart knowledge. Today knowledge supplants land, labour and capital. Knowledge about the latest technologies, about the latest research, and contribution to these bodies, can help Pakistan move forward. Our reliance on the developed countries for advanced knowledge and technology adversely affects our economy due to different environment which demands indigenous solutions.

I am alive to the fact that we need to go a long way to meet international standards of education, and to groom our students to understand the diversity of the global environment and challenges of globalisation. To provide education to each citizen of this country is a mammoth task, and the government is making all-out efforts to increase the literacy rate. Under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, education has become a purely provincial subject.

The insertion of Article 25-A has made education as a fundamental right for children between the ages of five and sixteen.

Distinguished audience

However, those who are literate must understand their roles as responsible citizens who can participate effectively in the socio-economic development of the society.

I believe that it is by increasing the social capital of this country that we can move on and earn a respectable place in the comity of nations. The role that some of our institutes of higher learning like the Air University, are playing to meet these standards is commendable.

There is a need to focus on the provision of holistic education to the students, so that they maintain not only their religious and cultural identity but also address the challenges of tomorrow at the same time.

I am happy to note that Air University has taken up this challenge of imparting quality education to the residents of Multan.

It is in accord with my vision for enhancement of quality educational facilities in Southern Punjab.

Ladies and Gentlemen

I have been deeply impressed by the facts presented by the Vice Chancellor, Air University. Air University has shown tremendous potential in the fields of academics and extracurricular activities. The fact that Air University’s programmes have been extended from the disciplines of engineering to administrative sciences, basic and applied sciences as well as social sciences depict its keenness to contribute through diverse fields of education. With its focus on discipline and ethics, Air University is providing an environment that is very conducive for learning.

I am very happy to note that the congenial environment of this University is promoting quality education and effective citizenship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I appreciate the concern of worthy Vice Chancellor about the requirement of adequate piece of land and proportionate funds for establishment of a permanent campus of the Air University that will include necessary additional facilities in the advanced engineering fields, and hostel accommodation for students, staff and faculty at the new Multan Campus.

Hostel accommodation on campus will make you accessible to students of Southern Punjab who are not based in Multan. Growth of your University in disciplines of social sciences, basic and applied sciences, and business administration in addition to the vital fields of engineering, will augment your image as an institution responding to the socio-economic requirements of this region.

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