LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the future of Pakistan depends upon its youth and a bright future for the country can be ensured by empowering the young generation.
The chief minister said that the strategy adopted for the empowerment and self-reliance of youth will yield positive results and the destiny of the country will be changed. He said that the programmes initiated by Punjab government for the uplift of the youth are yielding encouraging results. The Punjab government, he added, has started revolutionary programmes for the empowerment of the youth and billions of rupees have been provided for this purpose. He said that more than fifty thousand poor but talented male and female students are studying at local and foreign educational institutions with the help of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund.
The chief minister said that 200,000 laptops worth more than eight billion rupees were distributed among talented students on merit during the last tenure of the government and a similar programme has been evolved this year. He said that first information technology university of the country, e-learning programme, IT labs and other such steps are helping in polishing the talent of the young generation.
Shahbaz Sharif said that the Punjab Youth Festival has become a movement and the youth has brought honour to the country by setting a world record by forming the biggest human flag. The chief minister was presiding over a high-level meeting, which was attended by Provincial Minister for Education and Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Hamza Shahbaz, information secretary, director general sports and other officers concerned.
Shahbaz appreciated Provincial Minister for Education and Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Director General Sports Board Usman Anwer and the youth who set the world record and said that they have brought fame to the country through their discipline and hard work. The chief minister said that despite heavy rain, the youth displayed national spirit and proved that they can achieve any objective. He said that Pakistan is a lucky country as its sixty percent population comprises youth.
The youth, he said, are a precious asset and the goal of national development and prosperity can be achieved through their empowerment. He said that the Punjab government is spending huge resources on the empowerment of young generation and imparting them modern knowledge and skills. The chief minister said that provision of resources to the youth is a guarantee to a glorious future of the country. Shahbaz Sharif further said that the Punjab government has taken revolutionary measures for the empowerment of the youth during the last five years and huge funds have been spent on their welfare.
He said that the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund is an exemplary programme of the Punjab government which is helping a large number of students facing economic problems pursue their studies. He said that a sum of two billion rupees is being allocated for the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund each year and the total volume of the fund has exceeded the figure of ten billion rupees and will reach Rs 20 billion during the next five years due to which hundred of thousands of talented students of poor families would be able to continue their educational process.
The chief minister further said that an internship programme has been started for the educated youth under which a monthly stipend of Rs 12,000 is being given to them while they are also being imparted training at private organisations. He said that the Youth Festival is helping Pakistani youth display their talent and such programmes would continue in the future as well. He said that he is confident that Pakistani youth will set more world record during Youth Festival 2014.
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