Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal announced that the government would be terminating what he termed ‘political projects’. such as former prime minister Imran Khan’s proposal to turn the PM House into a university.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Iqbal said that the funds saved by doing away with “unimportant” projects that were “political in nature” could be used more effectively to areas of “national importance”.
Questioning where the Rs23 to 25 billion allocated to the project had been spent, Iqbal said the project was a “political project”, and termed it a ‘drama’.
In his inaugural speech, former prime minister Imran Khan had vowed to turn the PM House into a university, and in 2021, the National Assembly had approved “The University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill, 2020”.
However, a Senate panel had rejected the bill in March 2022, claiming that the funds for the project could be better utilised by allocating them to existing universities.
The minister revealed that prior to the death of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, popularly known as “the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb”, the nuclear scientist had sent him a feasibility report for establishing a science and technology university.
Iqbal announced that he has petitioned the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to start work on the project immediately, stating that it will be affiliated with Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.
The minister also said that the coalition government would try its best to correct the mistakes of the previous government, saying it was ‘walking on a tightrope’.
“It is unrealistic to expect from a government that came in the last year [before general elections] to pick up the basket of sins of four years of the previous government,” he said.