ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis, Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to achieve human development goals for socio-economic well-being of the country .
“Development is a complex process, a symphony where every single aspect has to be synchronized and aligned to get optimal results. Thus, Pakistan likes to learn from global best practices to expedite processes of development targets, set by the Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he expressed these views during an interaction with world donor agencies and foreign dignitaries here.
The meeting was attended by High Commissioner Canada, Ms.Wendy Gilmour, Ambassador of Netherlands, Ms. Ardi Stoios-Braken, Sweden Ambassador, Ms. Ingrid Johansson, Australian High Commissioner Ms. Margaret Adamson, Country Director (CD) United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Ignacio Artaza Zuriarrain, Asian Development Bank (ADB) CD Ms. Xiaohong Yang, British Council CD Ms. Rosemary Hillhorst, World Bank CD Illango Patchamuthu and other dignitaries from various countries.
Zulfikar Bukhari stressed for more strong collaboration with the developed nations to maximize human potential by exchanging great initiatives in terms of human development .
He said that his ministry was following Prime Minister’s vision in letter and spirit to ensure inclusive and sustainable development of the country. At present, the ministry had worked out different initiatives in its attached departments including Workers Welfare Fund, Employees Old Age Benefits Institute, Directorate of Workers Education and many others, he added.
Highlighting the ministry’s major initiatives, he said they were equipping its vocational training institutions with modern technologies and digitizing the functioning of its departments to ensure good governance. Besides Pension Fund and revival of Overseas Youth Council (OYC) were also under process, he added.
He also expressed the government’s desire to outsource administrative work of OYC to UNDP for making it more effective and transparent institution, adding that it perfectly matched with their youth programme.
He urged the UNDP to provide technical and financial assistance in establishing state-of-the-art vocational training center under its youth programme. Vocational training must include IT and computer programming.
He said Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme was the largest program of UNDP in the country and it could provide technical assistance about the Pension Fund under this project.
Bukhari also invited UNDP to set up a working group (Advisory Council) comprising people who had earned a good reputation regarding human resource development. He also offered the UNDP to develop a modern lab to help Pakistan’s government improve its efficiency.
He said World Bank under its ‘Pakistan @100’ initiative had suggested concrete recommendations for the national development and it pointed out that the potential of overseas Pakistanis was not being fully captured in the country.
Bukhari sought World Bank’s assistance to harness talent of overseas Pakistanis and implement ministry’s plans including pension funds.
Being member of National Task Force on Tourism, he appealed the participants to present Pakistan’s positive image at international level.
“Tourism is a key strategy of the government to improve its economy and you people can share your input to attract more tourists to visit scenic spots here,” he added.
Asian Development Bank was taking lead on providing technical assistance to government of Pakistan on Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Tourism SEZ could be ideal to attract investment and set up globally competitive facilities in northern areas.