Twelve Pakistani Universities & Embassy of Azerbaijan Sign MOU to promote educational and cultural linkages
Prof. Dr. Parveen Shah Vice Chancellor Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur, Prof. Dr. Ihsan Ali Vice Chancellor Abdul Wali khan University Mardan, Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Prof. Dr. Nasser Ali Khan Vice-Chancellor University of Haripur, Prof. Dr. Zakir Hussain Vice-Chancellor Govt. College University Faisalabad,, Dr. Haroon Rashid Pro-Rector COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Islamabad, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mohsin Khan Director IMS Peshawar and Muhammad Asif , Chief Editor, The Diplomatic Insight also spoke on the occasion and highlighted various aspects of bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Azerbaijan. They also hoped that increased cooperation between the two countries would certainly be mutually beneficial.
Expressing his views on the occasion, Chief Guest Dr. Javaid R. Laghari Chairperson HEC appreciated the initiative and assured the support of HEC in making the endeavor effective and successful. He 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. The inter university collaborations between the two counties can 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.
H.E. Mr. Dashgin Shikarov, Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan said Muslim countries with unique commonalities of historical, religious and political nature. After the establishment of the formal diplomatic relations, there was no look back and the ties grew on steady pace. He also announced 36 scholarships for the deserving students enrolled at the consortium member institutions and their visit to Azerbaijan. He said that this MOU would help in establishment of Heyder Aliyev Corners in member Universities of Consortium,and develop linkages between Universities of both countries.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Prof. Dr Muhammad Mukhtar Founding Chairperson IUCPSS & Vice Chancellor the Islamia University Bahawalpur informed that under facilitation of HEC, IUCPSS has been formed by twelve renowned and prestigious higher educational institutions of Pakistan to establish linkages with national and international organizations for improving social sciences, arts and humanities and research activities in Pakistan.
The Embassy of Azerbaijan and Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences IUCPSS, an alliance of twelve Pakistani universities, singed MOU to establish “Heydar Aliyev Corners” on the name of National Leader of Azerbaijan to pay homage to the visionary leadership in different member institutions of IUCPSS and to promote the youth, educational (fellowships) and cultural linkages between Universities of both countries on Wednesday. The ceremony was organized to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Heydar Aliyev by IUCPSS and The Diplomatic Insight here at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad and attended by the diplomats, vice chancellors and academicians.
Seminar “ Heyder Aliyev-National Leader of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan-Pakistan Relations” and Inauguration Ceremony of “ Heyder Aliyev Corner” in National Library of Pakistan.
“Pakistan and Azerbaijan are more than friends, they are brothers,” said H.E Mr. Dashgin Shikarov, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Pakistan. He was speaking at the seminar on “ Heyder Aliyev-National Leader of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan-Pakistan Relations” which was arranged in co-operation with the National Library of Pakistan. The seminar was followed by inauguration of “ Heyder Aliyev Corner” in National Library of Pakistan. This whole week, from May 3 till May 8th 2013 is a “ Heyder Aliyev Week’’ that The Diplomatic Insight has arranged exclusively to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Heyder Aliyev.
In his welcome note, Muhammad Asif Noor, Editor-In-Chief, The Diplomatic Insight, said that our efforts are to help promote the relations between brotherly Muslim countries and our focus is to develop people to people contacts. He said that the whole week is to pay homage to the National Leader and raise understanding and awareness of the great work that has been done by Hayder Aliyev to bring the friendship and cooperation between Pakistan and Azerbaijan. He thanked D.G library for facilitating and supporting to establish “ Heyder Aliyev Corner” in the premises.
H.E. Mr. Dashgin Shikarov, Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan said Pakistan and Azerbaijan are two brotherly Muslim countries with unique commonalities of historical, religious and political nature and after the establishment of the formal diplomatic relations, there was no look back and the ties grew on steady pace. He said that establishment of the corner in National Library will help people of both countries to come more closer to each other and learn about various aspects of each other’s history and culture. While shedding light on the friendship was founded by two great leaders of the two countries, Heydar Aliyev and Benazir Bhutto. He expressed his gratitude for Pakistan’s unequivocal support to Azerbaijan over its territorial dispute with neighboring Armenia.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ilham Mammadov, First Secretary at the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Islamabad highlighted and paid rich tribute to National Leader of Azerbaijan. He said that Heydar Aliyev was asked by the people of Azerbaijan to lead their country at a time in 1993 when it was in war and in great turmoil. Heydar Aliyev not only liberated most of the territories occupied by Armenia, but also put Azerbaijan on a path of development that has resulted in an unprecedented economic growth. Azerbaijan’s foreign exchange reserves stood at $ 45 billion and that the country had invested hugely in other countries. Mr. Mammadov said that it was because of the hard work and efforts of the great leader that Azerbaijan is enjoying the stature of great country amongst the community of nations. It is because of this stature that recently Azerbaijan has become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from the competitive East European region.
Prof. Dr.Lubna Abid Ali, highlighted the life and works of great leader Heydar Aliyev. While speaking on the occasion, she was of the view that great leaders bring the nations closer to each other.
“East-West Strings: Sufi Musical Fusion Evening ” Where strings of East meet West to create Rhythm to remember
The National Library Auditorium was charged on Saturday night with sound of classical music being played by Pakistani and Hungarian musicians. They were singing the duet tunes for Sufi fusion music and the audiences cheered and clapped on the sound of the music.
The Diplomatic Insight, University of Gujrat and Inter University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts arranged an exclusive concert “East-West Strings: Sufi Musical Fusion Evening” featuring Ms.Katalin Burns from Hungary and Mr. Qurban Niyazi from Pakistan on 6th April, 2013 at National Library Auditorium.
Both artists did a duet fusion Sufi music to promote the cultural diplomacy between East and West to bring the nations closer together. The Sufi musical evening was arranged to make strings of East(Pakistan) will meet West( Hungary) to make the rhythm to remember.
Prior to their performance, young students from University of Gujrat did an act on a famous Sufi Song. The audience cheered and encouraged the talent of young ones.
Both the artist enthralled the audience with their upbeat performance.
Ms. Katalin Burns is an artist with a mission to build bridges between cultures through (mostly vocal) music. She has been experimenting and studying various vocal techniques from all over the world, but of course, she has been most faithful to her own Hungarian roots. She is also a flutist and a traditional storyteller in the Hungarian vocal musical form.
On the other hand Mr.Qurban Niyazi is a prominent Pakistani folk singer with a vision to promote local Sufi Music to the world. Keeping the beautiful musical legacy of his late brother Tufail Niazi, who has mesmerized the people around the globe for years till his sad demise. Mr. Qurban has been associated with Radio and Television for more than 45 years. He won many prestigious awards from Private Government Institutes and performed not only nationally but also thrilled the audience internationally.
The concert had a clear message that Pakistan is a secure land and there is nothing to be terrorized about what is being portrayed by International media. This also reflected that Pakistan and people of Pakistan are meant to develop deep rooted linkages with outside world keeping their traditions and heritage alive.
The Diplomatic Insight in collaboration with Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) organized Nowruz Festival along with an exhibition of photographs on Pakistan Movement at premises of RAC. The festival, having stalls depicting culture of all federating units and Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan, and other countries including Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The main objective of the festival was to exchange culture with nations. There was a beautiful podium of Pakistani stall as the occasion was coincided with Pakistan Day. Local artisans displayed their handmade works at Pakistani stall thus winning the hearts of not only local people but those foreigners attending the festival as well.
The festival that was inaugurated was visited by a large number of people from all walks of life including ambassadors and diplomats of various countries.
Folk singer Qurban Niazi and his companions, and local bands of Rawalpindi and Islamabad also performed on the occasion. Besides cultural stalls of various countries, stalls of the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, woodcraft works, calligraphy, truck art, embroidery and others were also set up. RAC’s former director Naheed Manzoor, accompanied by diplomats from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Cyprus, and RAC Resident Director Waqar Ahmed inaugurated the festival.
Concert of local folk, Cuban singers mesmerize audience
A concert of local folk and Cuban jazz singers in collaboration with the Embassy of Republic of Cuba and the Diplomatic Insight mesmerized the audience at Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC).
Cuban Ambassador Jesus Zenen Buergo Concepcion was the Chief Guest of the event, while Naheed Manzoor and RAC Resident Director Waqar Ahmed graced the event as special guest.
Singers from both countries enthralled the huge gathering.
Local folk singers included Qurban Niazi, Saadia Batool, Rukhsana Khan and Muhammad Arshad.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Jesus Zenen Buergo Concepcion said the objective of holding this event was to introduce the Cuban music to the people of Pakistan.
He said the concert will strengthen people-to-people contacts between Cuba and Pakistan, adding he is pleased to see a huge gathering that shows that the people of this region have great interest in art and culture of other countries.
Naheed Manzoor said besides promoting local art and culture, RAC also takes initiatives to introduce art and culture of foreign countries to the people of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
She said music is universal language; therefore, the music show will bring the people closer, belonging to different cultures.
Chief Editor Diplomatic Insight, Muhammad Asif Noor said that Diplomatic Insight is playing its role as bridge among institutions by conducting such kind of event.
He announced to extend cooperation with Rawalpindi Arts Council, to organize Nawruz Festival in the end of March.
Later, RAC Resident Director Waqar Ahmed thanked the Cuban ambassador and the audience, saying the Council will extend its cooperation to other countries for the promotion of cultural activities.
Roundtable on Khojaly Genocide-Darker Side of Humanity Organized by Institute of Peace and Diplomacy and The Diplomatic Insight
Genocide in Khojaly was one of the darker and grim side of humanity and is shaking the human consciousness even after two decades of this dreadful event in one of the beautiful town of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. The humanity is still looking towards its fellow beings for justice and fairness in its approach towards dealing with those who have remained suffering in the hands of unjust and unlawful oppressor nations. Unless and until we would not do our part to stop these kinds of brutal acts then humanity would lose its trust and that would be more disastrous for us all. These were the views discussed by the diplomats, scholars, academicians and various representatives from all walks of life during a roundtable organized by Institute of Peace and Diplomacy and The Diplomatic Insight.
The occasion was graced by Ambassador of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Dashgin Shikarov, Ambassador of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Mustafa Evran. Other diplomats from various missions also graced the occasion with their presence.
Ms.Farhat Asif, Executive Director, Institute of Peace and Diplomacy briefed about Institute of Peace and Diplomacy (IPD) is an independent, non-governmental and not-for-profit think tank that aims to provide strength to global peace through dialogue and diplomacy by sharing knowledge, research, analysis and policy development in the areas of, peace-diplomacy, peace-building, conflict resolution, conflict transformation and conflict management and The Diplomatic Insight. She highlighted the importance of Roundtable and issue of Khojaly Genocide.
During the session, Mr. Ilham Mamedov, First Secretary, Azerbaijan Embassy, gave an overview of the incident highlighting its various aspects. He said that the act of genocide committed by Armenian aggressors in Khojaly town of Nagorno-Karabakh is the most tragic page of Azerbaijan’s modern history. He said that the Nagorno-Karabakh is not a disputed land and is an integral part of Azerbaijan which is recognized by entire world except Armenia. Various resolutions of condemnation and demand of withdrawal of Armenian forces were passed by UNSC, UN General Assembly, NATO, OSCE but all of them were simply ignored by Armenia. We, Azerbaijani people, wants the world to realize that recognition and commemoration and of victims of the genocide is an efficient way that will serve in securing the world from genocides and prevent them to happen again.
Ms. Sabah Aslam, Research Fellow, Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, spoke about the incident at length. She said Human Rights Watch (HRW), described the event in Khojaly as “the largest massacre to date in the conflict.” While highlighting Pakistan’s standpoint on the issue, Ms. Aslam said that Pakistan has always been criticizing such massacres on international forums and also recognizes Khojaly as genocide. On February 1, 2012, Pakistan’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved a resolution condemning the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and the genocide against Azerbaijani civilians committed by Armenian armed forces in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly on 26 February 1992.
Dr. Aftab Qazi, Senior Fellow, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, spoke about the incident and linked it with current international scenario. Dr. Qazi provided historical facts about the event and explained various dimensions of biased approach of international community that also led to non settlement of the disputes including Nagorno-Karabakh. He opined that the border issues between the Central Asian and Caucasian states must be resolved as soon as possible as they would lead to further escalation and formation of new conflicts in the region.
H.E. Mr. Dashgin Shikarov, pay homage to people of Pakistan for supporting people of Azerbaijan in every thick and thin. The brotherly attitude and support done by Pakistan and people of Pakistan are now part of the syllabus and it is being taught in school and colleges of Azerbaijan. He said that the support that Pakistan has provided to Azerbaijan will never be forgotten and is now written with golden words in our history.
During the question and answer session, participants and diplomats were, later, involved in candid discussion.
Higher education is crucial for the socio-economic development of the country. The international cooperation has been greatly helpful in human resource and faculty development in higher education sector in Pakistan. It was stated during the seminar organized here at National Library Islamabad on the topic of “Development of Country to Country Relationships in Higher Education Sector of Pakistan” . The seminar was jointly organized by The Diplomatic Insight Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan and American Institute of Pakistan Studies and presided over by Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin Chairperson National Committee on Development of Social Sciences/Vice Chancellor University of Gujrat, Gujrat. The seminar was attended by vice chancellors, diplomats, academicians, civil society and scholars.
Delivering keynote address, Prof. Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi former executive director Higher Education Commission HEC described the young bright minds are the greatest asset of Pakistan. He said that realizing this fact, more attention was paid to this important segment of society in higher education sector of Pakistan during last ten years. He informed that young Pakistanis were provided opportunities to equip themselves with modern knowledge and technology in the leading universities of academically advanced countries. The pool of these trained and educated young people has been greatly helpful in overcoming the shortage of skilled human resource and qualified faculty in Pakistan. These Pakistani scholars performed exceptionally well and success rate of the attainment of PhD degree has been more than 95%. The hard work and intelligence level of Pakistani scholars has been acknowledged by the officials and academicians of partner countries. These young people as ambassador of Pakistan not only strengthened bilateral relationship with more than fifteen countries but also created good image of their country around the globe. While elaborating the selection process for award of scholarships, he informed that that each Pakistani scholar was selected through well-defined and transparent mechanism. So far, over ten thousand scholarships in more than 20 different programs have been awarded, and not a single complaint on account of lack of transparency has been received or proved. Transparency was ensured through an open advertisement in national newspapers and on the HEC website. The merit at each level for short listing was determined by test score/ scores in previous exams. In addition, the final selection of candidates for foreign scholarships was undertaken by panels of professors/ experts of foreign countries, without the involvement of HEC. All the scholarships were finally awarded through National Scholarship Management Committee NSMC, constituted by the Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan. This important national committee is comprised of representatives of provincial governments and federal departments.
Dr. Anita Weiss Professor/ Head of International Studies University of Oregon US and Vice President of American Institute of Pakistan Studies remarked that during last few years the senior faculty belonging to leading American universities has successfully conducted dissertation writing workshops for the young Pakistani scholars for enhancing their capacities especially in the disciplines of social sciences.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin said that international collaborations especially in the fields of social sciences, arts and humanities would be greatly helpful in undertaking research and towards solution of socio-economic problems being confronted by Pakistani society. Prof. Dr Muhammad Mukhtar Chairperson IUCPSS/ Vice Chancellor the Islamia University Bahawalpur acknowledged the support and role of HEC in strengthening relationship of Pakistani universities with leading foreign higher education institutes.
Dr. Masoom Yasinzai Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Dr. Rasool Bakhsh Raisani Vice Chancellor University of Balochistan Quetta, Dr. Zakir Hussain Vice Chancellor Govt. College University Faisalabad and diplomats also spoke on the occasion.
Higher Education cooperation between Pakistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) was the focus of video conferencing seminar held here at The Higher Education Commission(HEC) Islamabad, organized in connection with 20th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and six Central Asian Republics (Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. This initiative was taken by The Diplomatic Insight in collaboration with Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Pakistan (IUCPSS), HEC. 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 & 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 Republics 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 Republics 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. He thanked Muhammad Asif Noor, Editor-In-Chief of The Diplomatic Insight for taking such step of making this connection between education institution and diplomatic community.
The Ambassadors and diplomats representing the missions from the Central Asian and Caucasian Republics also stressed the significance of relationship with Pakistan. On the occasion, Mr. Dashgin Shikarov Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan, Dr. Ismatulla Fayzullaev, Chief of Mission Embassy of Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. 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 can collaborate in numerous areas, such as scientific and technical fields, banking, insurance, pharmaceutical industry, tourism and media. The economies of Central Asian Republics 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
The Embassy of Brazil in collaboration with The Diplomatic Insight magazine organized the launching of the English and Urdu version of the book “Knowing Brazil: A guide about Brazil for Pakistani youth”. The event, also marked the beginning of the celebrations of the Brazilian National Day, was attended by members of the diplomatic community, government, academia, and the press. The book has been published by The Diplomatic Insight magazine in cooperation with Embassy of Brazil in Pakistan. The book is also meant to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the opening of the first Embassy of Brazil in Pakistan( Karachi:1952) and 64th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Pakistan(1948).
The book, co-authored by Ms. Farhat Asif and Mr. Asif Noor, was edited in English and Urdu, and is aimed at making Brazil better known among the young generation of Pakistanis. In his speech, the Ambassador of Brazil, H.E. Alfredo Leoni, stated that, although Brazil and Pakistan have a longstanding relationship, his country wants to “strengthen ties with Pakistan in other fields, such as culture, sports, tourism and education. And we especially want to bring our peoples closer. That is the idea behind this book.”
Knowing Brazil will be distributed to schools all around Pakistan in both languages, so that young students have access to it and are able to learn more about Brazil. The goal of reaching the future leaders and professionals of Pakistan was highlighted by the Brazilian Ambassador in his speech: “It is by working with the young generations that we will be able to enhance the friendly relations between our Governments and the brotherly ties between our peoples”, said H.E. Alfredo Leoni.
The Diplomatic Insight magazine is cooperating with missions in Pakistan to make the countries known to the people of Pakistan. The aim is to enhance relations and cross the barriers to know more about each other in order to build relationships and understanding through dialogue and knowledge. The organization is not only publishing books, research and analytical reports, supplements and newsletters but also organize seminars, workshops, conferences, roundtable dialogues and produce documentaries on various issues like interfaith harmony, dialogue among civilizations, cultural diplomacy, religions, peace. The publishing of this book is another step in the direction of creates knowledge about Brazil for people of Pakistan so that we can work on exploring new directions and new dimensions of longstanding relationships. Many people know Brazil only for football or carnival, but the country has much more than that. It has such a diverse culture and it is so strong in many economic fields.
Through this book, Pakistani students will be able to get to know all the major regions of Brazil, their differences and similarities, as well as learn more about the country’s geography, history, arts, sports and cuisine. As H.E. Alfredo Leoni affirmed, the book will certainly encourage Pakistanis to establish more contacts with Brazil and the Brazilians.
Pakistan is a land of rich cultural heritage and has remained cradle for the leading world’s civilizations from the time immemorial. After independence from the colonial rule, we have inherited this legacy and it came to us as at treasure which is now called as Pakistan’s national heritage. It is so rich and diversified that we, as a nation, are always proud of our glorious past. The heritage, arts, crafts, culture and history is matchless around the globe. It is our responsibility now to save and preserve this for our next generations. “Tribal Heritage” art gallery, owned by Mr. Zia Hashmi, has been established with an aim to preserve this rich historical past for the generations to come. Mr. Zia has collected various pieces of arts and crafts from across Pakistan and saved them in this gallery. The gallery itself is unique piece of art and is worth visiting.