Nationalising education was wrong, says prime minister


Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that nationalising educational institutions was a wrong decision by the previous PPP regime.
He was addressing a public gathering on Saturday in honour of late Nawab Fazl Ali, pioneer of Zameendar College, in Gujrat.
“The government always makes decisions in good faith, but some prove wrong, like the nationalisation of educational institutions by the PPP’s previous regime,” he said.
Gilani said no one could progress without accepting mistakes, adding that compensation should be given for such errors.
Commenting on the flood situation, the prime minister said the federal and provincial governments were taking effective measures to ensure timely rehabilitation of flood victims. “Free fertilizers, seeds and houses will be provided to all flood affected people,” he said.
He said over 20 million flood-hit families needed help at the moment, as Pakistan, which was ranked as the fifth-largest milk producing country, had suffered a lot owing to serious losses to the livestock sector.
“Everything is in the notice of the government and these issues will be addressed soon,” he added. Gilani also promised that the damaged infrastructure, including roads and bridges, would be rebuilt in all flood-hit areas, and the elected government had accepted the challenges of reviving the livestock and agriculture sectors.
He said farmers having less than 25 acres of land in flood-hit areas would be given free seeds and fertilizer. Commenting on the financial assistance to flood-affected families, he said the government would reprioritise the construction in affected areas and the rehabilitation of the flood-affected families, as “it is a promise of the PPP government that flood victims will be sent back to their homes with respect and honour”. In his brief address, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the PPP government had nationalised Zameendar College, so it was unfair to blame him for the action. “I am offering my full support to this college with the view that Zameendar College stands out among educational institutions of the country.”
Federal and provincial ministers Qamar Zaman Kaira, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Tanveer Ashraf Kaira, Dr Rana Tanveerul Islam and Mian Mujtaba were also present at the ceremony.
Earlier in the day, the prime minister stressed on the need to complete the process of devolution by June 30, 2011, the time specified in the constitution.
Talking to Senator Raza Rabbani at the Prime Minister’s House, Gilani said the process would fulfil the political commitment of democratic forces to transfer responsibilities to the provinces. During the meeting, Rabbani briefed Gilani on progress of the implementation of the 18th Amendment.
The process of devolution and upcoming meetings of the implementation commission and provincial governments were also taken up. Rabbani said the parliamentary committee on constitutional reforms would be meeting on November 1 in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision. He said the commission, after taking the federal ministries into confidence, would coordinate with provincial governments to ensure a smooth transition of power.