ISLAMABAD -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday urged the nation to focus on mathematics and science to regain the “lost glory” of Muslims and attain a coveted place in the comity of nations.

He said this while speaking at the launch of the Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science’s Publication Volume-I titled “How maths and science power nations” — a project of Alif Ailaan — here at the Prime Minister’s Office. The project seeks to put education at the front and centre of public discourse in Pakistan

The prime minister said that his government was endeavouring to rise above petty political issues and focus on the provision of quality education with particular emphasis on science to take the country forward.

He said that the future of every nation was based on learning mathematics and science subjects and the ancient civilisations relied on it and innovated and built cities that still were a source of marvel.

He said the artefacts used by the people of Harappa, Taxila and Moenjodaro and the style of their buildings reflected that they were highly learned and civilised.

He said that Islam also called for learning, research and studies and that was the reason that great Muslim scientists and researchers made great discoveries in every field of life.

Sharif said that Muslims of sub-continent rose to the fore due to the efforts of educated scholars and in this regard, he specially mentioned Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s efforts.

He said that this quest for knowledge was also apparent in speeches and writings of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

He said that Pakistan was now also an associate member of the European Research Centre - CERN and its scientists were bringing a good name to the country.

He said that their placement at world’s leading scientific research centre was only possible due to their hard work and commitment to attain higher knowledge.

He regretted that in the past vital areas of food security, environmental issues, educational reforms, economic stability were ignored, however, the present government was making all-out efforts to overcome the lapses of the past and taking the country on the path of progress and prosperity.

The prime minister said that last week he represented Pakistan at the World Economic Forum in Davos and said the world was getting ready for the fourth industrial revolution and recalled his meeting with Chairman Microsoft Bill Gates and Chief Executive Officer of Ali Baba Jack Ma.

He said that for a bright Pakistan, the young generation needed to lead the world markets in all spheres, but this could only be achieved by getting a quality education in sciences and mathematics.

He said that his presence here was to strengthen the vision of his government for a better and brighter Pakistan that occupied a prominent position amongst the comity of nations.

He said that his government was endeavouring to improve the condition of the educational institutions and was upgrading all schools in the federal capital to bring these at par with those in the modern world.

He noted that the current enrolment rate of children in schools was not very impressive, however, he added, efforts were underway to improve the situation.

He said without improvement in the quality of education, Pakistan could not progress and would not make significant achievements in the economy.

He said the previous government’s focus was on giving jobs, however, he said his focus was on imparting good education as he believed that Pakistan could progress through innovation and entrepreneurship.

The event was attended by academia, teachers, and representatives of leading educational institutions in the country.

The campaign pointed out that still 24 million boys and girls were out of school, and of those children going to school, a vast majority of them receive poor quality education, 45 per cent of government schools were in a dilapidated condition and lack basic facilities.

The event was also addressed by Dr Sabeh Anwar, Dr Kalsoom Hayat, Mosharraf Zaidi, Jibran Sethi and Shahzad Roy.