ISLAMABAD - President Mamnoon Hussain has underscored the need for equipping the students of religious seminaries with the contemporary education.He emphasised that Quran-learning students must be imparted contemporary education as the importance of science and technology cannot be overruled in this era.Addressing the annual prize distribution ceremony of the winners of the competition of Quran memorisation and recitation arranged by International Organization for Memorisation of Quran (IOMQ) on Saturday, the president observed that those memorise Holy Quran have usually been found excelling in contemporary education too. "Technical education will help the seminaries' students contribute to the socio-economic development of the country," he added. The competition was held among 900 students across the country of those 43 were short listed for final round. Of these, only five would be selected for the international Quran competition to be held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.The president congratulated the winning students and their parents whose supervision and encouragement enabled their children to clinch the positions. He also assured government's cooperation to the international institutions striving to promote Quran learning throughout the world and added that International Relief Organisation and IOMQ were working for a noble cause.He also lauded the brotherly and cemented ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and that the latter always stood with the former in any hour of distress. He said the recent visit of Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz also manifested the strong Pak-Saudi ties and hoped that these would further strengthen in future. He said Pakistan was the only state founded in name of Islam to provide Muslims with a territory where they could practice their religion freely and establish a true democratic society.The president viewed that the teaching of Quran is an integral part of an Islamic society and also mentioned the numerous challenges being faced by the Muslim world. President Mamnoon Hussain said Arabic should be made part of Pakistani education syllabus. He said memorising Quran was indeed a matter of pride and called for making all Muslims realise its importance and respect those children achieving the distinction. He said the Pakistani nation is blessed with intelligent minds but unfortunately it is lagging behind in science and technology. However, he was hopeful that the country would make up the deficiency within next decade.President Mamnoon Hussain said Pakistan is the sole atomic power in Muslim world proving that the nation has the potential in the field of science and technology too. He said that promotion of science and technology will help achieve more such milestones. He said Pakistan always maintained friendly ties with Muslim states and always avoided strains.He lauded the efforts of the outgoing Saudi Ambassador in Pakistan Dr Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Saleh Al-Ghadeer and hoped that the new ambassador would also work to make the bilateral ties stronger.Later, the President distributed prizes among the winners of the competition and also announced Rs 200,000 cash prize for them. The Saudi ambassador presented a shield to the president that was reciprocated by the president too with a shield. The president also gave shields to other prominent guests.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 11-May-2014 here.