ISLAMABAD - Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan has planned to lay telemedicine infrastructure in the District Head Quarters hospitals to connect with top Pakistani doctors in USA to raise the level of medical treatment in the country.

The federal minister expressed these views during a meeting with USAID Mission Director John Groarke, who called on Ahsan Iqbal him at the Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform yesterday.

Ahsan Iqbal shared his plan of laying telemedicine infrastructure in District Headquarters Hospitals to connect with top Pakistani doctors in the USA to raise the level of treatment in Pakistan. “I believe it offer opportunity to Pakistani doctors in USA as well as with Pakistan IT engineers in USA to help Pakistan become IT centre of the region”, the federal minister stated.

On the occasion, the USAID also offered contribution towards the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Responding the offer of USAID director to contribute in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that there are tremendous opportunities of cooperation and collaboration in it. The minister, however, asked USAID representative to come up with tangible proposal in this regard.

Ahsan Iqbal highlighted the initiatives being taken to bring improvement in social sector particularly in education and health. The minister pointed out that country faces shortage in quality human resource to meet growing needs of expanding universities network in the country.

Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal further said that Knowledge Corridor is high on the radar of bilateral relations between US and Pakistan and is the most important initiative taken in decades-long strategic relations between the two countries. “The country needs ten thousands Phds scholars in next ten years to meet the faculty needs of universities and US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor will help Pakistan to produce these Phds in future,” he stated.

Ahsan Iqbal recalled that unfortunately, Pakistan missed the opportunities in the past to benefit from the real strength of USA i.e. its universities to revolutionise its education sector. However, the present government realises the importance of benefiting from USA universities. He emphasised the need to create awareness for proper grooming of Pakistani students for Phds programmes in USA universities and urged the USAID to help Pakistan through capacity building measures in this regard.  Ahsan Iqbal emphasised the need to harness the potential of Pakistani Diaspora by offering them tax incentives for social uplift projects in Pakistan. The USAID director commended the plan of US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor and said it would be instrumental to further strength the bilateral ties by expanding them into social sector.

He also apprised the minister about USAID contribution to bring improvement in education sector of the country particularly in backward areas of the country.