Islamabad: (Parliament Times) While talking to participants of a Leadership
Development Program at COMSATS University Islamabad, Shehryar Afridi, Minister of
State for States and Frontier Regions and Narcotics Control shared his life experiences
iterating students to devote themselves whole heartedly towards achieving excellence
and committing to a life with no tolerance for corruption or nepotism.
While sharing his views, he said that Pakistan is facing immense challenges and the
present government is also committed to set forth a strategic direction of the country in
the areas of human development, poverty alleviation and long term infrastructural
development. While recognizing the centrality of increasing the tax base in Pakistan, he
said that the resolve of the nation is unfettered as it benefits from a youth bulge in the
He encouraged participants of the course to adopt a leadership role in community
service and development of human resource in the country. Later the Minister called on
the University Rector Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, and lauded the achievements of
COMSATS University Islamabad, stating that Kohat, his hometown must also benefit
from a campus of the varsity, which is world ranked and a matter of pride for the nation.
Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar informed the Minister that being a leading world ranked Public
Sector University of the nation, CUI had been deprived off development funds over
several years, which had stented the growth of the university. Furthermore, he informed
the minister that budgetary cuts had resulted in stoppage of the Prime Minister’s
Scheme for Fee Reimbursement, which was impacting middle class parents from
deprived areas from being able to access higher education for their children.
Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar said that CUI and the higher education sector at large, has very
high hopes from the present government owing to the vision of the Prime Minister to
prioritize human development over infrastructure. CUI will always remain ready to
render services and consultancy to the government in its programs on education,
knowledge led economy and infrastructure development.
Mr. Afridi pledged support of his office for seeking scholarships and development
budget for the university. He said that the university must look into newer avenues as
well as philanthropists to contribute towards its funding stream and enhance numbers of
foreign students in its student body. The minister also called for increasing interaction
between government functionaries and universities. Later he also paid a visit to the
Junaid Zaidi Central Library.