ISLAMABAD - Highlighting Pakistan’s policy position over the US-Iran dispute over the assassination of Iran’s key commander Maj. Gen Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday made it abundantly clear that Pakistan “will never get involved” in other countries’ wars again.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the ‘Hunermand Jawan’ programme here, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan will become a country that will “serve as an example for other Muslim countries around the world and lead them”.

He said that Pakistan had been committing mistakes in its foreign policy “by getting involved in others’ wars”. 

“Pakistan will never participate in anyone’s war again,” he said, as the crowd erupted in cheers and thunderous applause. “Pakistan will become the country that encourages peace in other countries,” he added. 

He said that Pakistan will do its best to bring about peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

“This peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran will be our biggest effort,” Imran Khan said recalling he had even told US President Donald Trump that he will help establish peace between Iran and the US.

The prime minister said that “nobody ever wins a war” and Pakistani nation very well how it had hugely suffered because of the international war against terror, but finally triumphed in re-establishing peace and stability in the country.

While explaining about the ‘Hunermand Pakistan’ programme, the prime minister said that launching of this initiative is Pakistan’s largest ever skilled development programme.

“It will put Pakistan on the road to success,” he remarked and added aim of this programme is emancipation of youth through quality professional training. 

The programme will be carried out in next four years, costing 30 billion rupees and will facilitate youth through easy loans, professional capacity-building, start-ups and internships.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan, chairing a pre-launch meeting of ‘Hunermand Pakistan’ termed youth an asset of nation. 

He said the programme would help youth get better job opportunities and contribute to national development.

In the first phase, around 170,000 youth will be given professional skill-based training, of which 50,000 will be trained in areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing and other advanced areas of technology.

Similarly, 50,000 youth will be given training at Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority in conventional areas including auto-mechanics, plumbing, whereas twenty thousand youth will be given apprenticeship.

Around 75 smart class rooms will be set up to ensure easy access to skill and professional education besides provision of such training at 70 Madaris.

Five Centres of Excellence will also be established under the programme in collaboration with friendly countries.

Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Imran said that this programme will put Pakistan on the road to success.

“I need you all to understand that there is no such thing as ‘happily ever after’, that only exists in fairy tales”, the Prime Minister emphasised saying in real life there are ups and downs and smart people make sure that they use the time when they are in difficulty to propel themselves towards success later.

He went on to say that Barkat (blessing) has not come to this country because a small number of people kept becoming richer while everyone else suffered.

This,  he pointed out, is not how enlightened societies work and added that in such societies equal opportunities are given to everyone.

What is the American dream model, he asked and said it ensures that anyone who works hard will be able to lift themselves up and create a better future for them.

He said in the next phase, 300 smart training centres will be created, where our students will have access to international teachers so that our country can achieve global standards.

He said that all of these skill centres will have national accreditation to ensure that there is healthy competition between them and they all strive to better themselves.

The Prime Minister also said that more money will be allocated for this programme in the future and it will be ensured that Pakistan’s youth has the skills required to work hard and secure their better future.

He also congratulated Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood on coming up with an extensive skills programme for the country.

Earlier, the Prime Minister explained how his government has been trying to eliminate poverty in the country and raise peoples’ standard of living.

“We have decided to make sure that this country functions on principles that elevate the standard of living of our underprivileged population.

We have started the Ehsas programme, under which we have allocated Rs7 billion for the Utility Store Network, to ensure that people are given quality rations in affordable prices.

We have also started to develop a network of langars (soup kitchens) to ensure that no one in this country goes hungry. The network is still being developed and more and more areas in the country will soon be covered.

In addition to that the Prime Minister said that the government has launched the Panagah programme, under which we started forming shelters last year to ensure that people do not have to brave extreme weathers and live on the street.

“Today, in the kind of cold we are experiencing, police have been instructed to patrol the streets and bring homeless people to these shelters,” he added.

The Prime Minister continued that with the Sehat Insaf Card, families now have medical insurance, adding that earlier, if a single member of any family had to go through cancer, it caused financial instability for everyone in the family.

“The family had to sell everything to ensure that that one member could have treatment which caused financial devastation of the family”, he added.

Under the Apna Ghar programme, Prime Minister said that government is providing the common man the opportunity to own a house.

He noted this has never been done in this country before; he said adding that only the rich could afford to do it before.

“There is a case pending in court regarding land leases and as soon as that case is resolved, we will start work on building houses on that land,” he concluded.