Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has called for widening the scope of education at religious seminaries in order to enable students to play a positive and more productive role in society.
Addressing a seminar on Human Resource Development—Opportunities and Challenges — in Quetta on Thursday, the army chief categorically stated that he was not against the religious seminaries.
He told the audience that there were more religious seminaries established in Balochistan than the modern and quality schools during the past four decades. However, he added: “Only religious education is being imparted to the students at all the seminaries and thus the students educated from the seminaries are left behind in the race for development.”
He also mentioned the deep impact of Afghan civil war, saying the law and order situation undermined the pace of economic development and stability to a greater extent.
The chief of army staff called for supremacy of merit and economic development of Pakistan that is inseparably linked with functional democracy.
General Bajwa declared that the Pakistan Army was in the service of the state of Pakistan and its people and not to any particular government. He called for better and quality education and handling the administrative issues in a better way.
Bajwa said that more competent and experienced bureaucrats were shy of serving in Balochistan. He told the audience that he had proposed to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to send more and experienced bureaucrats to Balochistan and take the province out of backwardness.
The army chief mentioned that at present more than 25,000 Baloch students were receiving quality education at various Army and FC-run schools and cadet colleges all over Pakistan. “Nearly 20,000 sons of Balochistan are serving in the army, including over 600 as officers, while 232 cadets are undergoing training at PMA, Kakul,” he added.
These numbers get even higher, Bajwa continued, when “we take into account Baloch youth in Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy” and other law-enforcement agencies. “Baloch youth is as capable as youth of any area of Pakistan,” he said.
“We have enough resources. We just need to improve our human resource. The civil service needs to be made attractive so that the top talent comes to civil service. It is the backbone of any country,” the army chief stressed.
In his address, General Bajwa announced the establishment of an MRI centre in Turbat and expediting the process of establishment of already announced educational institutions.
He said that the army was a state institution meant to serve the nation. “Army shall continue to perform its role, while national security and development remains a national obligation for all state institutions,” he said.
He also said that he believes in democracy and even more so in the democratic values of selfless service and supremacy of moral authority. “All of us have a duty to the nation.”
Concluding his speech, the army chief said that tomorrow’s Balochistan would be engine of the national development effort and invaluable link from north to south and also to west.
A large number of politicians, elite and civil and military officials were also present at the seminar.