News Analysis |
Local media reported the news with some misleading headlines suggesting as if the idea of turning the PM house into a place of learning and higher research has altogether been rolled back. The officials had to clarify that the plan got changed in terms of its practical implications, but the idea has not been discarded.
Dr. Rehman commented on the development and stated that it has been decided to build the “National Engineering and Emerging Technology Institute” at the PM House. He further said that the institute will not offer undergraduate degrees but rather focus on research and development.
Pakistan is facing the menace of extremism and terrorism, it will be more important to take some serious security measures before the government finally plans to turn the PM house into a university.
The institute will offer research and education facilities from MSc to Ph.D., covering various subjects including Artificial Intelligence, industrial biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, genomics, economic governance, water and food security, energy, future of the atmosphere, glaciers, strategies for coping with natural calamities, applied biotechnology and cybersecurity.
The government will allocate a budget of Rs25 billion for the project and it is expected to be completed within three to four years “The purpose of the institute is to prepare the country for a fourth industrial revolution. Work on the project will start from the next fiscal year,” Dr. Rehman told media.
In his maiden speech to the nation on August 19, PM Khan had said that there were 524 persons to serve the prime minister at the 1100-Kanal PM House, coupled with 80 cars, including 33 bulletproof ones having an estimated price of Rs 50 million each, besides helicopters and an airplane. “At one hand the nation was burdened with debt and on the other, we have the elite. This system was created by the British during the colonial era to rule the masses, but even after independence the same practice was being followed,” PM remarked.
However, for many analysts, it will be difficult to operate any educational institution at place which is said to be a “Red Zone”. There are obviously security reasons for not making the place available for all and sundry. Pakistan is facing the menace of extremism and terrorism, it will be more important to take some serious security measures before the government finally plans to turn the PM house into a university.
Interestingly, a professor of history at Quaid-e-Azam University Dr. Ilhan Niaz believes that the building cannot be converted to a university owing to security concerns but should be turned into a civil service academy or any training institution. He further added that our politicians spent a deluxe life. Luxury became a crucial part of their living style. Indeed, they spent more luxurious life than they (native politicians) used to spend in the sub-continent under English rulers.
There are still some serious questions about the construction of an institute of learning for Masters and Ph.D. students in the Red-Zone which is, despite the fact that Pakistan has won the war against terror, a difficult idea to transform into reality.