BAHAWALPUR - Islamia University of Bahawalpur Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Mukhtar said on Friday that the university was imparting professional education and confidence to the students so that they could become self-reliant and self-sufficient to reap benefit from the locally available opportunities. This factor will help in the growth of indigenous growth of economy and entrepreneurship, he said while talking to the country head of UKAID, Mr George Turkington, who called on him at the Abbasia Campus in the presence of students and faculty members. He further said that southern Punjab had been blessed with fertile land and natural resources including skillful and talented manpower. They only need to be provided latest technology and resources to materialise their talent and business ideas. The IUB will be accorded its due share to contribute in the uplift of the region, he said. Earlier Mr George Turkington briefed the students and the faculty on the purpose of his visit and said that the main objective of Punjab Economic Opportunities Program (PEOP) was to enhance the socio-economic development of southern Punjab. He added that Pakistan is a fantastic country with abundance of unused natural resources that need to be explored to raise the living standard of the people. He further said that Department for International Development (DFID) will spend 92.5 million (1.4 billion rupees) which will be doubled during the coming years. The beneficiary districts of southern Punjab will be Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Lodhran and Muzaffar Garh where majority of people are living below poverty line. During the meeting university students from various departments presented their proposals and ideas for development of south Punjab particularly employment opportunities in small and medium enterprises, which were highly appreciated by the visiting delegation. Later during a meeting at University Guest House the public representatives and members of local business community showed their concern about the success of this program. According to entrepreneurship representatives it was suggested that local expertise of south Punjab should be used to solve problem of this region instead of external consultants who lack knowledge about socio-geography of the region.