ISLAMABAD – Cooperation between Pakistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) in higher education sector was the focus of video conferencing seminar held here at the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The seminar was organised in connection with 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and six Central Asian Republics (Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan) under the auspices of Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Pakistan IUCPSS, HEC and the Diplomatic Insight.

The aim of the seminar was to exchange ideas and build bridges for evolving new relationships in making headways for developing deep-rooted connection in sectors like government-to-government contacts, science and technology, culture, trade and economy with special focus on exploring educational linkages among universities.

Expressing his views on the occasion, Prof Dr S Sohail H Naqvi Executive Director HEC said that   Pakistan-Central Asia relations are based on geographical proximity, common history, culture, traditions, religion, values and destiny. Pakistan and these states can work together and avail the expertise of one another in the areas of research, information technology and scientific cooperation. This collaboration would be greatly helpful for the socio -economic development of the region.   He also suggested that central Asian states can also benefit from the development made in higher education sector in Pakistan during last decade. He also shared the progress and development occurred during last ten years in the higher education sector of Pakistan.

The Ambassadors and diplomats representing the missions from the Central Asian and Caucasian States also stressed the significance of relationship with Pakistan. On the occasion, Dashgin Shikarov Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan, Dr Ismatulla Fayzullaev Chief of Mission Embassy of Republic of Uzbekistan, Kubanychbek Toktorbaev Deputy Head of Mission of Kyrgyz Republic and Major Guvanch Orazov Deputy Head of Mission of Republic of Turkmenistan spoke and highlighted the relationship between Pakistan and Central Asia. They have also highlighted various opportunities that can be explored through bilateral cooperation.

The ambassadors and diplomats also added that we could collaborate in numerous areas, such as scientific and technical fields, banking, insurance, pharmaceutical industry, tourism and media.

The economies of CAS and Pakistan are complementary to each other. There is cooperation in several spheres, notably, war against terrorism, combating religious extremism and drug trafficking and potential in transit trade.

The faculty and the students form IUCPSS member institutions form University of Gujrat, Government College University Faisalabad, Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur, University of Baluchistan Quetta, Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Abbottabad participated lively through video conferencing and expressed their views over various aspects of relationship

In their remarks, Prof Dr Muhammad Mukhtar, Chairperson IUCPSS and Vice Chancellor the Islamia University Bahawalpur, Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Prof Dr Rasool Bakhsh Raisani, Vice Chancellor University of Balochistan, Prof Dr Zakir Hussain Vice Chancellor Government College University Faisalabad, Prof Dr Muhammad Mohsin Director Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar said the leading Pakistani higher education institutions of are eager to establish strong linkages with central Asian universities in the areas of faculty development,  scholars exchange, joint  research projects, joint workshops, conferences, seminars on current issues and trends.

They also hoped that increased cooperation between these countries would certainly be mutually beneficial for promoting standards of higher education, science, technology and research.