SWABI  - Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has encouraged academia to put forward their valuable proposals to strengthen the country's economy and its industrial sector.

During his visit to Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, the federal minister interacted with academia, addressed the inaugural session of a three-day National Optics Convention, organised by the Society for Photo-Optical and Instrumentation Engineer (SPIE), and also inaugurated the building of Central Mess of the institute. The building of the Mess was constructed to the tune of Rs120 million.

Shakeel Durrani, Executive Director of Society for the Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology (SOPREST), Jehangir Bashar, Rector GIK Institute, Professor Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Pro-Rector (academic), Ahsan Basir Sheikh, Pro-Rector (Admin and Finance), faculty deans and academic staff also graced the occasion.

The minister said that the government, industry and academia are required to put their heads together and the should forward their productive ideas, conduct result-oriented research while the government is committed to extend generous financial support to them. "We look forward to academia to guide us. The academia of the entire country is part of our planning and policy. If academia really guides us we can easily achieve our objectives of economic growth," he said. He said that every countryman must play his due role with complete devotion and concentration to Pakistan on trajectory track.

He said that he asked economists what was the impact of their research on Pakistan's economy. "The research should be according to the requirements and needs of the country. How the economy could be strengthened and how we bring an industrial revolution," he added.

"It is an age where the power of knowledge-based economy dominates all other spheres," he said, adding that political stability is a prerequisite for economic prosperity.

Without a vibrant economy, he said it could not be possible to build up other sectors. The former Soviet Union was a cogent military power but when its economy collapsed it disintegrated, he said.