KARACHI - Leading Muslim scientists at the 14th International Symposium on Natural Products Chemistry said that the spirit of science and technology in the Muslim world became parched.

It is an open secret that Muslim countries have lagged behind in science and technology in the world, as these countries allocate very limited funds for promotion and growth of science and development, they said, adding that Muslim scientists need to have their own network to help each other.

They were speaking at a close session with a local media group held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi on Wednesday.

Those who attended the session were Dr Sahar Mustafa (Egypt), Dr Eldar A Garaev (Azerbaijan), Dr Kamala Kamal (Azerbaijan), Dr Mannan (Lebanon), Dr Nohad A Al Omari (Iraq), Dr Rami Mamdouh Arfeen (Palestine), Dr Rahim Jantan (Malaysia) and ICCBS Director Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary.

The symposium on Natural Products Chemistry (ISNPC-14) is being held at the ICCBS, Karachi University. Over 600 eminent scientists and young researchers, including 100 foreign experts, are attending this international symposium, organised by the ICCBS, Karachi University.

Prof Iqbal Choudhary said that there was an inadequate allocation of funds for research and development sectors in Muslim nations. Pointing out some causes of this dilemma, he said that lack of political will, internal political instability and failure to be gathered as one Ummah were some of major causes.

In Pakistan, he observed, political instability, corruption and lack of political will were the main hurdles in the progress of science and technology.

Lebanese woman scientist, Dr Mannan said that lack of funds was the major issue in Lebanon, where Universities were merely focusing on teaching rather than research.

Describing the state of science in Palestine, Dr Rami Mamdouh Arfeen said that Universities in Palestine were just teaching oriented, adding that lack of funds and a trained human resource were really some of major problems that Palestinian science and tech sector was facing.

Dr Nohad A Al Omari said that Iraqi people were skilled and talented, but the country was deprived of suitable science platform for its scientists.

Dr Rahim Jantan said that the world of sciences was completely controlled by the Western World. He suggested the session that Pakistan should take lead of the Muslim World on the frontier of science and technology.

Talking about the problems in Azerbaijan, Dr Eldar A Garaev and Dr Kamala Kamal, a lady scientist, declared language barrier one of the most important issues making the chances of science promotion slim in the country.

The Egyptian female scientist, Dr Sahar Mustafa said that in her country scientists and scholars had been engaged in writing papers and striving for their official promotions.

In other scientific sessions at the 14th International Symposium on Natural Products Chemistry, British scientists Dr Tom Simpson and Prof Dr Michael D Threadgill, French scientist Dr Druno Figadere and many others have presented their papers.