President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said that the constitution of the country spells out the roles and responsibilities of all pillars of the state and they all have to perform their constitutional functions in a coordinated manner for the development and solidarity of the nation. The president, while addressing the 20th convocation of Iqra University Karachi, said that the political franchise serves as the foundation of democracy and the election process reinforces the democratic system so all the statuary institutions must abide by the constitution and law to further augment the democratic system in the country. Dr Arif Alvi said that education and health were two fundamental sectors which play a pivotal role in the progress and prosperity of any country. Focus on these two sectors was the major proponent behind the exemplary progress of China and Pakistan should also further focus on education and cognitive and intellectual development of youth besides providing them training in modern technology and skills which are in demand across the world, he suggested. The nation is facing tough times and indicators in education, health, corruption, gender empowerment and some other sectors were unsatisfactory, he pointed out and added, but cultural cohesiveness was the strength of the Pakistani nation and we are proud of our cultural values which put great emphasis on respect of elders and were transferred from a generation to the other. ‘Almighty Allah in the holy Quran not only directs to seek knowledge but also emphasises on the adoption of ethical and moral values and maintaining the best relations with fellow humans”, Dr Arif Alvi underscored and urged the students to pay due respect to their parents who strove hard for equipping them with higher education. He said that modern technology has significantly enhanced access to the immense treasure of knowledge but youth have to augment their analytical capabilities to consume and capitalize from the available knowledge resources. Communication skills are also very important as these skills open avenues of advancement and career development by enabling a person to communicate his or her thoughts and ideas clearly, he said adding that the world has evolved as an intellectual world and we have to compete it intellectually as well. The president said that our hopes were attached to the new generation that could steer the country to its destination while following the directives of Islam, the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and the guidance of Allama Iqbal. Speaking at the occasion prominent scholar and intellectual Professor Arifa Syeda Zehra said that education is a journey and knowledge is its ultimate destination. Education is a process of curiosity and inquisitiveness that frames up a student’s mind and prepares him or her for his future life, she said and stressed on right training of the youth so that they could live a productive life and carry forward the core values of our distinguished culture. Earlier President Arif Alvi awarded gold medals to 15 best performing PhD scholars and students of Masters and Bachelor in departments of Education, Business Management, Computer Science and other departments while degrees were also awarded to more than 850 graduating students in the convocation.