Islamabad - Pakistan-Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Friendship Forum (PSCOFF) and Inter-University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (IUCPSS) would jointly establish Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Study Centre and Pak SCO Business Council.

It was announced during a seminar ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): Peaceful and Prosperous Pakistan’ organised by PSCOFF in collaboration with Inter-University Consortium — an alliance of more than 20 Pakistani universities — and ministry of planning, development and reforms here at Islamabad Club. The event was aimed to discuss and highlight the future prospects of Pak-China cooperation through CPEC.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of Embassy of People’s Republic of China, Zhao LiJian said that under the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor a number of trade routes between China and Pakistan would be expanded. He said that development of Gwadar seaport and airport and construction of eastern, western and central alignments would connect all the provinces and regions of Pakistan and turn the country into an industrial hub. He added that this mega plan will transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub as well as further boost the growing ties between Pakistan and China. He also spoke about the rapid developments taking place in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan through CPEC.

President PSCOFF Farhat Asif highlighted the role of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation after Pakistan and India’s permanent membership in this regional organisation and urged civil society activists, diplomats, media and academicians to join PSCOFF to campaign for peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.

Maj Gen (Retd) Dr Zahir Shah, project director CPEC and federal ministry of planning, development and reforms, highlighted the significance of CPEC and its various components and said that peace and development is the prime objective of the corridor.

Professor Dr Rauf-i-Azam, vice-chancellor of University of Education Lahore, and Prof Dr Talat Anwar, adviser Centre for Policy Studies COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Islamabad, underlined the importance of close linkages between Pakistani and Chinese universities through collaborative research, faculty exchange and other joint academic activities. He also suggested Pak-China Technology University in order to cater to the growing needs of skilled human resources in the CPEC. 

Prof Dr Talat Anwar highlighted the significance and potential of bilateral relationship in higher education sector. He also assured the cooperation and support of Centre for Policy Studies Islamabad for effective implementation of CPEC.

The speakers discussed the significance and potential of CPEC and its implications for bringing peace and prosperity in various parts of Pakistan. The seminar highlighted the economic dimension of this strategic corridor and Sino-Pak cooperation at societal, educational, cultural and economic level. During the seminar, Pak-SCO business expo was also announced in 2016. The event was attended by the ambassadors, senior diplomats, academicians, government officials and representatives of civil society.