PESHAWAR – A three-member delegation of the Canadian High Commission on Monday met the Vice Chancellor, University of Peshawar, and discussed matters pertaining to the neighboring countries and role of the UoP.

The University of Peshawar (UoP) has planned to start its distance learning education programme and other relevant disciplines for joint research with collaboration of Ningahar University of Afghanistan, said Vice Chancellor, Dr Qibla Ayaz while talking to the delegation. He further informed that the joint research projects for resource exploration in Afghanistan between Department of Geology, University of Peshawar and Kabul University would start shortly.

The Canadian three-member delegation led by its Political Counsellor Denis Chouinard, met here at his office. Other members of the delegation included Christopher Martin, Analyst Asia division for the Government of Canada and Uday Sequeira, First Secretary (Political) of the Canadian High Commission Islamabad. On the occasion, Prof Dr Babar Shah and Director Pakistan Study Centre Prof. Dr. Fakhrul Islam were also present.

The visit is focused on identifying the role of University of Peshawar in the Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation process, said Denis Chouinard. He further said that University of Peshawar is host to a number of Afghan students and the fact that most of the people at the helm of affairs in the present Afghan Government have either remained students of this institution or their offspring have been part of it, he added.

The delegation also showed interest in organising joint seminars and symposia to judge the approach of Afghan and University of Peshawar students about a best-fit scenario for a peaceful Afghanistan in the future, especially after the 2014 American withdrawal.

“The travelling of people to and from Afghanistan cannot be stopped due to obvious reasons of close proximity and bonds among people on both sides of the divide, just is the case among Canadian and American citizens,” said Vice Chancellor University of Peshawar Prof Dr Qibla Ayaz.

Many of the Afghans living in Pakistan today are not war refugees only, in fact most of them are economic migrants and unless there is a stable Afghanistan, we have to live with them, said Professor of Regional Studies Dr Babar Shah.

He added India seems to be ready to resolve outstanding issues with Pakistan, mainly because it wants to play a role in the global politics, and bare mindful of the critics blame, for non settlement of border and other disputes with the neighboring countries.

The delegation was informed that University of Peshawar being the closest foreign higher education institution is contributing to the rebuilding of Afghanistan, and that is why Afghan students are offered at least one seat each in all departments of the University under the normal fee tariff.