ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) has envisaged an idea to implement a project titled “science diplomacy” to create close liaison between different countries through holding joint science endeavours and activities.

“The project has been designed by the academy in collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs to build strong relations between Pakistan and other countries through science and research-oriented activities,” President PAS Professor Dr M Qasim Jan disclosed this during an interview with APP here on Monday.

The PC-I for the project of science diplomacy costing Rs180 million has been sent to the Planning Commission for approval.

The project has been designed with the guidance of Chairman Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology Dr Atta-ur-Rahman.

He said Dr Atta-ur-Rahman has also agreed to provide funds for this project considering its importance in the present era when no progress can be made without scientific intervention and development, he said.

Dr Qasim Jan, who is also serving as an adviser of OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), said the main objective behind executing this project is to promote collaborative research between Pakistan and other countries as well as exchanging scientists and scientific facilities like laboratories and equipment etc.

He said the researchers and scientists will act as ambassadors under this project who will play vital role for promoting soft image of the country at international level through arranging delegations exchange visits and joint research activities.

The way politicians use the medium of political diplomacy to project better image of the country, scientists under the term of science diplomacy will create close coordination with their counterparts in other countries, promoting better image of the country, he observed.

For this project, Dr Qasim Jan said that the academy has initially selected five to six science institutions aboard including Chinese Academy of Sciences and others in Austria, Belarus etc.

The PAS will engage its fellows (scientists/researchers) for scientific diplomacy at different international forums.

Dr Qasim Jan said Sri Lankan Cricket team safe visit to Pakistan conveyed a strong message to the world that Pakistan is not all about extremism what international media projects but it is all about peace and love.

British Royal couple’s successful visit to Pakistan was one of the finest diplomacy at government level and such event has boosted the morale of foreign scientists also to visit the country.

He said the project of science diplomacy will be a unique initiative which will create bond between local and foreign researchers and scientists who will also get a chance of learning from each other’s experiences.