‘Cyber strength’ best tool to put Pakistan on fastest track of development: President

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President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday said besides conventional security, acquiring ‘cyber strength’ could put the country on the fastest track of stability and development.

Addressing here at the 10th convocation ceremony of Air University, the president highlighted the need for the world’s fifth populous nation to gain knowledge in contemporary fields particularly artificial intelligence, cyberspace, and data-driven technology.

President Alvi said Pakistan had achieved professional prowess in traditional and conventional defence such as a nuclear deterrence, however, stressed that gaining a strong foothold in cyberspace was also vital for survival.

He pointed out that in the last year’s global cyber ranking, Pakistan was placed nowhere on the list.

The situation, he said, demanded an overhaul in choices of career pathways besides a major shift in the retrogressive mindset.

He said cyber knowledge was one of the best tools to equip the country’s big youth bulge with contemporary skills.

He mentioned that a huge quantum of data based on pattern recognition was available in the world that needed the skill of artificial intelligence to quantify and analyze it.

The president called for decision-making on imparting the youth requisite knowledge about quantum computing and artificial intelligence as the world witnessed an unprecedented transformation in these fields.

He emphasized the importance of carrying out thorough research on job markets by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and said that it would produce a skilled human resource to match the demands of national and international organizations, thus aptly addressing unemployment in the country.

About the maiden batch of Cyber Security discipline, Dr Alvi expressed confidence that the graduates would play a vital role in safeguarding Pakistan’s cyberspace.

The president commended the Chairman Board of Governors of Air University for his continuous support and patronage towards the noble cause of education which has been provided with the support of the Pakistan Air Force.

He awarded degrees to the graduating students and appreciated their efforts in various disciplines.

Thirteen hundred bright graduates from the undergraduate, as well as MS and Ph.D. programmes, received their medals and degrees in various disciplines including Mechanical, Mechatronics, Electrical, Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering in addition to the disciplines of Business Administration, Accounting & Finance, Aviation Management, Literature & Linguistics, Mathematics, Physics, Strategic Studies, Computer Science and Cyber Security.

Earlier, Air Marshal (Retd) Javaid Ahmed, Vice Chancellor Air University, in his welcome address thanked President Alvi and Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed for gracing the occasion. He lauded the vision of the Air Chief for modernising and reinstating the tech arena through projects under the National Aerospace and Technology Park (NASTP).

He said the Air University would continue to impart quality education, research, innovation, and technology to the students and would make meaningful contributions to the national cause.