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Nationalisation of schools was wrong: PM Gilani

31 October, 2010

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GUJRAT: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the Pakistan People’s Party’s policy of nationalising educational institutions way back in 1972 was a wrong decision, though it was taken in the best national interest at that time.

The policies are made by the governments according to their circumstances, but we must admit that the nationalisation of schools and colleges by the first PPP government was wrong. “I admit it because we cannot move forward without admitting our mistakes,” the premier added. However, he termed the incumbent government’s reconciliation policy a success, adding that despite having different manifestos, all political parties were united on a one-point agenda of serving the people of Pakistan.

Speaking as the chief guest at the 68th death anniversary of Nawab Sir Fazal Ali, the founder of the Zamindar College Gujrat in the college hall on Saturday evening, Gilani reminded the nation of challenges like terrorism, energy crisis, unemployment and price-hike facing the country. He said that the people had every right to question the government about its performance in solving their problems as they had given it the mandate. He said that the federal, as well as the provincial governments, were fully aware of the sufferings of the 20 million flood-affected people as the rehabilitation of these people was a major challenge for the government. “We accept the challenge; we have cut our development budget to spend that money in the flood-hit areas,” the premier added.

He said Pakistan was the fifth major milk-producing country some months back but the flood had badly damaged the livestock. He said the pledge made to flood-hit people by the Council of Common Interests would also be fulfilled and houses of all flood victims would be built on priority basis.

Eulogising the educational services of the founder of the Zamindar College, the premier said that Sir Fazal Ali had established educational institutions at a time when the doors of educational institutions were closed on Muslims in the Subcontinent.

He asked Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who was also present on the occasion, to take measures for restoring the glory of Zamindar College. He assured that the government would set up a livestock and veterinary college in Gujrat, as Nawabzada Ghazanfar Gull, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Political Affairs, had announced 1,000-kanal piece of land as a donation from the Zamindar Educational Association for the establishment of a veterinary college in the area a few months ago, when the premier attended the first convocation of the University of Gujrat.

Nawabzada Ghazanfar Gull said in his welcome address that the assets of the Zamindar College should be returned to the Zamindar Educational Association according to a decision of the Supreme Court back in 1987. However, the government could run the administration and the academic matters of the college besides giving proper attention to the dilapidated condition of the college. He deplored that the college’s building and the face had been marred by illegal constructions at the college land. He urged the Punjab chief minister to form a committee to look into the matters of the Zamindar College.

Gull also offered the Punjab government a free-of-cost land from the Zamindar Educational Association for the construction of Nawaz Sharif Medical College in Gujrat.

Agencies add: The prime minister said after completion of a survey, under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), concessions would be given to poor people in school fees, electricity and gas bills and health and life insurance would be provided. The prime minister announced a grant of Rs 50 million for the Zamindar College to improve facilities at the college. He also laid a wreath at the grave of Nawab Sir Fazal Ali and offered Fateha.

End.

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