KAMRA: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday performed the groundbreaking of Air University Aerospace and Aviation Campus at the newly established Aviation City and called for greater focus on indigenous efforts to confront the challenges ahead.Addressing a ceremony after unveiling the plaque for the Air University Campus, the prime minister termed this strategic initiative laudable for Pakistan’s national, regional and international significance.The Prime Minister prayed for the progress and prosperity of this premier institution and said Pakistan has considerable and valuable aviation assets to meet the needs of both civil and defence sectors. He said the integration of national and global aviation industry would augment Pakistan’s technological base.“I am confident that this campus will play a central role beyond the academics to integrate technology, training, operations, maintenance and management of our national assets. I hope indigenous manufacturing of high-tech aviation products will meet our national needs alongside boosting economy,” the prime minister said.Abbasi said that the potential of education and training for international scholars must be explored and assured all possible support from the government to supplement the resources already provided by the Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra.He stressed the need for skilled manpower which entails investment in education. He pointed that developed nations invest heavily in education and their leadership focuses on Human Resource for re-shaping the destiny of the countries.He said in the same spirit, Pakistan’s vision 2025 has prioritised ‘Knowledge Economy’ as one of the seven pillars. “Our government puts highest premium on human resource development for provision of competent leadership, skilled manpower and think tanks for all walks of life.”Abbasi pointed that the government has increased spending on education and was anticipating substantial improvement in country’s human resource. The prime minister said while the government provides the funding, it was incumbent upon the faculty of universities to impart quality education to students for industrial and technological development. “I am glad that the Air University has made its mark in higher education sector,” he said.The event was attended by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, federal ministers, high ranking defence and civil officers along with heads of various academic institutions.Air University Vice Chancellor Air Vice Marshal (r) Faaiz Amir briefed the audience about the salient features of the campus. Air Marshal Ahmer Shehzad, chairman Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in his welcome address highlighted contours of the newly established Aviation City, which would serve as an aviation hub of the region.The air chief in his address said the realisation of Air University Aerospace and Aviation Campus was part of the strategic vision of Pakistan Air Force to develop Industry-Academia linkage in the form of Aviation City.“It is heartening to share that this strategic initiative also holds significant potential to attract a large number of international scholars and trainees who, besides providing intellectual exchange, would enhance Pakistan’s image with obvious economic and diplomatic gains.”He said the campus would play a significant role in addressing the emergent new geopolitical realities in the region.“I am confident that with the government’s patronage, the PAF will be able to achieve a wide range of strategic gains linked to aviation technology.” He described it as a path to self-reliance and expressed confidence that the Kamra Aviation City would play a pivotal role in providing desired impetus to cutting-edge indigenisation programmes. He said it would also strengthen the local industry and harness demands of foreign aviation industry by promoting joint research and production ventures.“Our focused efforts in research and development of aviation industry in the recent past have yielded positive results and we stand very proud today.”“Our engineering and operational staff has indigenous capabilities, which are truly high-tech,” he said and added “I believe that we have stepped into a path which will ensure indigenisation of civil and military aircraft, weapons and avionics.” He termed it the need of the hour and said the PAF was determined to do it. He said it was a dream of the Pakistan Air Force to let Pakistan Aviation Industry grow and support the country’s economy.The prime minister acknowledged PAF’s commitment towards development of Aviation Industry and promotion of higher education in less privileged areas of Pakistan.Published in Daily Times, January 3rd 2018.