LAHORE - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said that in order to achieve positive results technical persons must be involved in the decision-making on technical issues.
Addressing Pakistan Engineering Congress annual session here on Friday, the minister counted different problems which had occasioned due to absence of the technical persons in the relevant field and said without reviving credibility of the engineering profession, progress of the country was impossible.
The Minister reminded that during the PML-N government in 1998 a strategy was framed to produce 28,000mw of electricity but the military intervention in the civil side frustrated the plan as result of which the country remained without any energy solid policy for 14 years.
The minister said by the year 2025 population of Pakistan would be about 230 million and food and water crises can overtake the country if resources were not utilised according to a plan and properly.
The Minister also lauded the role played by media in defeating dictatorship as well as making the move for independent judiciary and success. He also asked the media to not only highlight weaknesses of the government but also project positive developments to inspire hope of good future in the mind of the people. "Even the smallest project of energy takes two to three years for completion," he added.
He said that first time in history a democratic government had completed its constitutional term and a smooth transfer of power took place. "Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani handed over the command to new COAS General Raheel Sharif and Tassaduq Hussain Jilani took oath as Chief Justice of Pakistan."  At the same time the minister voided for getting rid of elements causing unrest and flayed the parties which were following the politics of protest, as it was scaring away the foreign investments.
He said Iran is trying to resolve all its problems through dialogue with America. On the resolution passed at the UNO against drone attacks, he said it was a moral victory for Pakistan. It is need of the hour that we move ahead with wisdom and strategy.
Ahsan said that in the first quarter of the present rule, the economy has recorded five percent growth, which indicated revival of the economy.
The Minister also appreciated the achievement of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status and asked the political parties to keep aside their differences for three years and work collectively for nation-building.  Ahsan Iqbal said that technical consensus was necessary to develop a political consensus on the Kalabagh dam, adding that it was the job of technical persons to convince people on the issue.
He said a divide in the federation could not be tolerated at any cost. The minister said that Islamabad Airport would be completed with Rs 100 billion and still no one knew from where water would be provided to it. Such mismanagement of projects was a hurdle to the progress of the country.
Engr Shmasul Mulk and Pakistan Engineering Congress President Riaz Ahmad Khan also spoke.