14 March 2007
It is indeed a pleasure to be here on this occasion of National Internship program. So many interns would get jobs with salary of Rs. 10,000 monthly for one year. I would be handing over certificates to you, once this was a dream and now today it is a reality. This institute is providing a foundation to you for building and improve yourselves, to develop potentials within yourselves and then look for jobs outside.
I am very glad to be a part of this wonderful program, and I am glad that the people who have applied, most of them have used the internet facility. Now I want to digress a little that this internet facility was available because in 2001 we analyzed IT infrastructure and why are we lagging behind in IT? Then we planned to improve it. In those days only 39 cities of Pakistan had the internet connectivity. Today, alhumdulillah, more than 2,000 cities and towns have internet facility. Earlier there were only 40-50 cities having fiber optic’s connectivity. But today that too has been available in 1,500 cities. It makes me feel proud that the nation is moving forward into the modern world of IT and telecommunication.
Secondly I am glad that 38% of the interns are women or girls. This is very encouraging and very good, because according to one policy of this Government we are focusing on the empowerment of women. Unless we empower the women the problems that we face in our national development cannot be overcome. And in empowerment of women we have gone for political empowerment and we are also going for economic empowerment i.e. women should be standing on their own feet and earning money and should not be dependent on others. I think that is extremely important. And today in educational field women are competing and performing far better than men. I would like to congratulate everyone that 20,000 candidates are taken as interns for employment. They come from all over Pakistan because every province of Pakistan is equivalent. In fact where there is backwardness there we should provide more assistance and benefits. That is the Government’s policy and we would continue this.
Now coming to what are we aiming through this program? First of all, we are aiming for poverty elimination and reducing unemployment. Our economy is progressing. This program is going to cost money but then why not spend on you since we have the money. When in 2000 I came on the scene I could not introduce this scheme because we were financially dependent on others. Today we have the finances to continue with such projects. I personally feel that because of unemployment extremism and terrorism spreads, because when a person does not have job, money or education so then he is a target for extremism and terrorism. So in my opinion to eliminate the root of extremism it would be through poverty elimination and education. So therefore this is in line according to our overall strategy. Now the question arises to identify where is poverty and unemployment? So I keep saying that it is in our rural areas and secondly there is unemployment in the cities which is of two types: i.e. uneducated unemployed and educated unemployed. So we have to cater for all. Now how to go about it? I would like to inform you the Government policy that depending upon our economy there would be foreign investment in Pakistan, industries would be setup and there would be new jobs available.
Now Government jobs are not sufficient to cater for millions of young generation. So therefore when we would be industrializing and economy would grow, we would be concentrating on agriculture sector in villages then agro-based industry, dairy product industry, there would be job creation and income generation. And in cities uneducated unemployed for them there would be employment for both skilled and unskilled labour. Moreover, educated unemployed are you people for you job creation is through this scheme, you will be getting the initial boast. And then if our economy is going well and there is corporate world expansion in the private sector that is happening in IT, telecom, building and construction masses is sector, hotels then there would be more opportunities. You have to utilize this one year job opportunity to improve yourself, learn, gain experience and then look out for better jobs and then maybe prepare yourselves for civil services’ examination and get selected for service in the public sector or Government sector, or go in the corporate world where you would get more facilities and try to get into that. In my opinion, human interaction is one of the most important aspects and 50% of success in life is human
interaction. There is human interaction on three levels: i.e. dealing with your subordinates, then dealing with your peers, and then with your superiors. One who learns this and is good at all three levels is successful. If one is dealing with his subordinates, he should not be a dictator, he should have compassion, have feelings for the subordinate. When he is dealing with his senior he shouldn’t be a pain in the neck for the seniors, in fact it should be smooth dealing. So gain this experience in this job when you would come in the Government service, you would have to deal with your subordinates you must learn the method of dealing with them, so that you are equipped to face the world in a better way.
Having said that, I would like to say that we must help in developing their qualities. This should not happen that these interns come to the office and sit without work. I would very strongly recommend that within the organization set this responsibility of the best performer to groom, train the interns, look after and make them better people, and bring out the inherent potential or develop their urge to succeed. Give them work and test them. Then I would like to comment on technical education and skill development. Our Government’s policy is through national technical and vocational education NAFDEC to open school all over Pakistan and a lot of effort is being put in skill development. Education should be diversified. Secondly, the Government has more responsibilities i.e. to generate business and accordingly we have launched Rozgar Scheme which is facilitation for you to setup a business e.g. a women who wants to open PCO in a village, she can get a mobile phone and get a loan for that mobile phone from National Bank and with less interest rate. If a person wants to have rickshaw three-wheelers you can get 1 lac loan. I am glad that about 4,000 youngsters all over Pakistan have taken these loans. I would like to encourage you all to come forward, get loans and setup your own businesses.
The Utility Stores have been ordered to open mobile utility stores in thousands so that they are available in rural areas and at the common man should get essential items at subsidized rate. You can get the loan from National Bank and become an extension of Utility Store. These are some of the plans or schemes. And I know that with time more people would be incorporated. We would give you grounding.
I would also like to take this opportunity to address the private sector. I think there is tremendous scope that you should also launch similar kind of scheme like national internship in your perspective areas. That will help in job creation. I would strongly urge those corporations which are going very well should return some to Pakistan. If the Government and all corporations induct interns, give some people interns, train and give them into jobs then this would be very beneficial and there would be true poverty elimination and reduction in unemployment. So I hope the private sector would come forward in generating employment.
The last element is extremism and terrorism, and would like to say that we are going through a time where there are certain elements from within us spreading the air that Islam is in danger and I say to them all that this is an Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This country is created for the Muslim although minorities also have rights. Here any law against Islam cannot be passed. The point arises that there is only one Islam but people have its different interpretation. So, we should not be intolerant towards interpretations. Then we have different sects and fighting with one another. This is not what Islam teaches us, because of this there is a gap in our society and as you can see a lady minister was killed. This should stop and eradicated from our society.
In the end I would like to congratulate Prime Minister and his team, Mr. Waqar, Mr. Tariq who have struggled hard and in a very short time have conceptualized this idea and executed it. This is a batch of 2005-2006 and this program would continue every year for the next 16 year. Thank you very much.