KARACHI - A four-day international conference titled “14th Eurasia Conference on Chemical Sciences (EuAsC2S-14)” opened at the HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi on Thursday.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, national and international scientists said this was a historic moment for Pakistan, as it was working with China on various mega projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). They said science was all about finding the universal truth. They said Pakistan was a new country, but it had an ancient history. They said the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) was promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and other member states.

Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman inaugurated the conference in which more than 740 scientists, including 150 foreign researchers from 45 countries, are participating. This is one of the largest science conferences in Pakistan in recent years.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Prof Atta-ur-Rahman said that ICCBS was the leading institution of the world, where scientists and researchers were working day and night for promotion of science and research. Based on needs of the country, this research establishment was being expanded to fields such as genomics, nanochemistry and clinical research, he said.

Prof Manzoor Soomro said that ECO was an intergovernmental regional organisation established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey to promote economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member states. He said that ECO was the successor of the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), which remained in existence from 1964 to 1979. “In 1992, the organisation was expanded to include seven new members. The ECO region is full of bright trading prospects. Despite its young age, ECO has developed into a thriving regional organisation. Its international stature is growing,” he said.

Prof Iqbal Choudhary said that science was a great equaliser; it was all about finding the universal truth. He said that Eurasia Conference was a mega event that brought leading scientists of the world to one platform. He told the participants that Pakistan was cradle of great ancient civilisations. He said it was the country, which owned seven of the 12 mountain peaks of the world. He said Pakistan was the wealthiest country in terms natural resources. It is indeed a pleasure for Pakistan to host the EuAsC2S-14 again, especially at the Golden Jubilee of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) (1966–2016), he said.

Aziz Latif Jamal said that science was a fascinating field and the HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry was considered the face of Pakistan because it had become identity of Pakistan in the world of science. Talking about the education sector, Nadira Panjwani said there was an alarming situation in the country, and providing quality higher education to the masses in the country was really a mammoth task.

She urged all stakeholders to be united for the sake of this very significant sector.

Turkish scholar Prof Bilge Sener termed the Eurasia conference in Pakistan pivotal for training of young scholars and promotion of science in the country.

At the end, Dr Musharraf, organising secretary of Eurasia Conference, presented the note of thanks.