RAWALPINDI - Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said that the PPP-led government is committed to empowering women folk by promulgating different laws and spreading the light of education to every nook and corner of the country to mop up the darkness of illiteracy and dogmatism.

He said that government would provide all facilities and support to women in getting quality education and ensuring their effective role in the national development. “The top most priority of PPP-led government is to empower female youth of this nation and we will go to an extra mile for a brighter future of our daughters,” the Prime Minister said during his address on the occasion of the 12th convocation of Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) here at the Convention Centre on Friday.

The PM said that women, especially female students, had an important role in the development of the country. He said though the country was facing economic crunch yet the government was committed to providing them quality education.

Stressing the importance of education, the Prime Minister said that it was not only a religious obligation, but was also vital for the growth and development of society.

“The world today has shrunk into a global village due to the rapid advancements made in the information technology. With a click of a computer button, one can get access to any part of the world through digital means,” Raja added.

He said that it was time for the Pakistani students to avail this opportunity and use the available information for their learning and education.

Raja said that whole nation was proud of Malala Yousafzai, who had served as a beacon of light for others to spread knowledge and education. He appreciated the availability and use of information technology by FJWU and hoped that it would help the students and the faculty reach out the outer world.

He appreciated the research papers by the students that had earned the FJWU a good name in the global academic community. The PM said that focus should be on agriculture, science and technology, engineering, medicine, and other areas so that progress and development could be achieved in these vital fields. He assured his government’s full support for construction of the second campus of FJWU.

He said that the women constituted half of the country’s population and quoted Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, as saying, “Nation cannot progress unless its women are educated and work side by side with the men.”

The PM said that martyred Benazir Bhutto and Begum Nusrat Bhutto did a lot for the betterment of women. He said that both the ladies worked selflessly for the rights of the women and did all to help them attain their true status in the society. He said that government launched Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) to help women and other destitute segments of the society. He also congratulated the positions and degree holder students. On the occasion, Governor Punjab/Chancellor FJWU Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, Vice Chancellor (FJWU) Dr Samina Amin Qadir, Registrar Dr Maryam Rab, other faculty members, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Javed Laghari, the students and their parents were also present.

While congratulating the degree holders, Governor Punjab Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, in his speech, said, “Never give up your dreams and aspirations if you want to make your life purposeful. You are the stewards of this nation and custodian of very rich tradition of antiquity and modernisation”.

He said that the university has been collaborating with several leading organization to promote its research activities.  For this purpose the initiation of ORIC (Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization) was another bridge towards the expansion and development of the university, Research program and linking research activities to educational and economic priorities of the university.

Earlier, PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf awarded 33 gold and 33 silver medals to position holder students of master and undergraduate programmes. Khosa and VC Prof Dr Samina Amin Qadir also conferred degrees. A total of 1,042 students conferred degrees.