Consider education a security issue says information minister

ISLAMABAD: Education prepares a nation for future challenges and it should be taken as a security issue, Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Barrister Syed Ali Zafar said on Tuesday.

“Education and book reading are tools that can change the world and prepare a nation for future challenges,” he said speaking after inaugurating the Children Free Summer Book Club organised by National Book Foundation (NBF).

Goal: Education must for economic progress

Ali Zafar said children had qualities of heart and mind and they could become super heroes if they equipped themselves with education.

He said the children were the future of Pakistan as they would take up important roles for nation building. Education prepared a nation for future challenges and time had come that it should be taken as a security issue, he added. The children would be joining important national institutions like the parliament when they would be adults, he said.

The minister said the government fought the war against terrorism which was an issue of security. Similarly, lack of water and education were also posing security risks. Issues like controlling population and improving health facilities could be resolved through education, he added.

He said education was ignored in the past but if the nation focused on it, nobody could stop Pakistan from making progress.

He said book reading inculcated important values, such as tolerance and created awareness about the points of view held by different people. “We learn so much from books. Books raise our awareness about issues.”

He told the audience, including children, that he was an avid reader and used to read a book every week. He adopted the reading habit as his father encouraged him to buy and read books. Children should be motivated so they become habitual readers, he stressed.

Ali Zafar said a three-day book fair would be held in Murree and writers would be invited to the event so that people get the opportunity to interact and hold discussions with authors about books. “After a discussion, when a writer signs a book, it is a matter of great joy for a person buying it.”

He said at the book fair to be organised from July 13 to 15 in Murree, children would get an opportunity to be among books and get familiar with the culture of book reading.

A charter for education

He said people from all over the country visited Murree and the fair would help project a soft image of Pakistan.

National Book Foundation Chairman Dr Inamul Haq briefed the audience about his organisation, saying the NBF was selling books worth Rs350 million every year through its outlets and it was taking steps to encourage the culture of book reading.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2018.

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