GILGIT, Aug 25: While the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are gloomy for being neglected and worried about their ecology, culture and economy, President Mamnoon Hussain foresees ‘opportunities’ and ‘prosperity’ for them with the coming of CPEC that will pass through the mountain region.
“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will not only bring economic prosperity but also open up new academic avenues for the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan,” he said while addressing the 8th convocation of the Karakoram International University (KIU) here on Friday. A large number of people, including parents of students, and civil and military officials attended the event.
Mamnoon asked the university administration to introduce CPEC-related courses and develop international contacts to take maximum advantage of emerging opportunities.
He advised the youth of GB to “convert their cultural heritage into educational opportunities” which, according to him, came from the ancient Silk Route in the past and now offered by CPEC.
The president appreciated the setting up of CPEC Cell at the university and hoped that it will help the local people to explore the different dimensions of the project and reap the maximum benefits from the opportunities offered by it.
He hoped that if the cell introduced some new courses to make CPEC studies more effective and comprehensive than its utilization would not remain confined to the university only.
He also directed the university administration to keep him updated about the activities of the cell so that he could provide his continuous feedback.
Mamnoon also expressed satisfaction over the functioning of the department of modern languages.
“Linguistic research was not an easy task and after the launch of CPEC, the importance of this department had increased manifold,” he observed.
He hoped that attention would be paid on the new linguistic experiments so that the people travelling on the corridor could be saved from the trouble of learning new languages and they could communicate with the people of this region without any difficulty.
He advised the students to also keep an eye on the changes occurring around the world.
The region also offered many cultural artefacts. If such products were produced on a commercial basis it could revolutionize the economy of this region.
The President also inaugurated the new building of the Faculty of Education which has been completed at a cost of Rs300 million with the financial assistance of the USAID.
He gave away degrees and gold medals among the high achiever.
Earlier in his welcome speech, Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Khalil Ahmed highlighted the achievements of the university and said that 10,000 students had graduated from the only higher learning institute of the mountain region and 3,000 were currently enrolled.
The President also visited Hunza amid extraordinary security. The valley, known for its natural beauty and hospitality, was virtually under curfew. All the shops, markets and streets and link roads were closed. No one was allowed to stand in streets and watch the President’s cavalcade.
The President met Governor Ghazanfar Ali Khan and discussed various issues.
During their meeting, Mamnoon said that Gilgit-Baltistan had a huge potential of tourism and the government was making all possible efforts for infrastructural development of this region to attract more tourists.
He lauded the GB government for the steps taken for the development of education and health. Khan apprised the President of the development projects and issues of the region.
The President also inaugurated a campus of KIUin Hunza.