GB Road Show

Human Resources, and not natural resources alone, essential for socio-economic prosperity: President

Islamabad : While addressing the GB Dream Road Show, President Dr Arif Alvi has said that human resources and not natural resources alone were essential for making a country socio-economically prosperous, adding that intellect, consistency in policies, avoiding confusion, and actively cooperating with each other would enable the country to tread the path of development.

The President expressed these views while addressing a ceremony titled, “GB Dream Road Show”, organized by the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Government. The ceremony was attended by Governor Gilgit-Baltistan, Syed Mehdi Shah, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan, Mr Khalid Khurshid Khan, the ministers of GB government and others.

Addressing the ceremony, the President said that Gilgit-Baltistan was very dear to him and he always represented the region as its ambassador for promoting its tourist attractions. He said that tourists should be facilitated in the area, adding that the biggest charm of tourism for a tourist was easy and shortest possible access to the destination.

The President said that the GB was rich in natural resources like minerals, gems, and fruits. He said that we needed to use scientific methods for cutting and finishing gems and the skills required for such work could be learnt in a very short period of time.

While highlighting the importance of IT skills for GB’s youth, the President said that people with IT skills could earn their livelihood by offering their services in other countries while living in Pakistan through online platforms. He said that IT sector could also provide employment opportunities for women allowing them to work from their homes. He said 2.4 million people from different academic backgrounds had benefitted from the Prime Minister’s Digital Skills program, digiskills, adding that such programs could be replicated to provide critical and marketable digital skills to the youth and women of the country. He said that a GB student who got his training from Digiskills program was earning almost $100,000.

The President said that there were enormous opportunities for GB in the field of agriculture as well by using vertical farming and drip farming. He said that GB could not only fulfil its own food requirements but it had the potential to export to the world like Netherlands which was 19 times smaller than Pakistan but the second-largest food producer in the world. He said that there was an abundance of ideas but it was high time now to translate these ideas into practical steps and execute them. He said that indeed development was not possible without community participation and GB’s people should be fully and actively engaged in promoting development in the area.

Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, Mr Khalid Khurshid Khan, said that the GB had been neglected in the past in terms of resource allocation and the funds which used to be given were mostly consumed in salary-related expenses. He said that the Government had been allocating more funds for development for the last two years. He said that his government’s focus was on the development side, especially improving the road connectivity of GB with the rest of the country through different routes, revamping the education sector, boosting the agriculture sector to overcome food shortages, improving the health sector, and bringing reforms in the local government system.

The seasoned civil servant, Mr. Shoaib Sultan also narrated his journey with the Agha Khan Rural Support Program for GB. He said that he worked for 40 years for the rural support program and it was the support of people and community which made it successful.

Earlier, the President also visited the various stalls at the show.