17 March 2015

IIASA visit to Pakistan in 2015

IIASA will increase its cooperation with Pakistani government agencies and leading Universities as the result of a series of meetings between Director General and CEO, Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat and high level officials in Pakistan during a visit to Islamabad, Lahore, and Faisalabad in March.

Map of Pakistan

Map of Pakistan

In a meeting with Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Professor Kabat emphasized the links between IIASA’s work and several key themes in the Planning Commission Vision 2025 for Pakistan, particularly energy and energy access, water systems, and education. Professor Iqbal invited cooperation in the Vision 2025 pillar aimed at building food-water-energy security in the face of climate change, and the leaders agreed to explore partnership initiatives in these areas. A later meeting with Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security and Dr Ishfaq Ahmad, former President of PAS, former Science Advisor to Prime Minister, and IIASA Council Member (2007-2012), at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reinforced the importance of these issues in international relations with India, where climate change will lead to shared challenges. They proposed investigation of opportunities for cross-border research cooperation under the IIASA umbrella.

Meetings at Pakistan’s leading scientific organizations led to additional opportunities for scientific partnerships, both in Pakistan and in the broader region. The meetings included a roundtable discussion at the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS), which serves as Pakistan’s National Member Organization, led by PAS President Dr Anwar Nasim, and meetings with Dr. Ansar Parvez, Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission; Dr. Muhammad Ashram, Chairman of the Pakistan Science Foundation, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission, Dr. Shaukat Hameed Khan, COMSTECH Coordinator General, and Dr. Manzoor Soomro, President of the ECO Science Foundation.

Professor Kabat offered a series of lectures during his visit, at the Planning Commission, at the Centre for Public Policy and Governance at Forman Christian College University in Lahore, at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, and at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. He met with University leaders, including FCC Vice Rector Dr Joseph Jones and Dr. Saeed Shafqat, Director, of the FCC Center for Public Policy and Governance; LUMS Vice Chancellor Dr Sohail Naqvi and Sohail Qureshi, Dean, LUMS School of Science & Engineering; and UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan.

The meetings and visits produced a number of proposals for joint initiatives, including pledges of support from the Higher Education Commission for visits by young Pakistani researchers to IIASA, cooperation on external grants by researchers from IIASA and Pakistani institutions, and regional workshops organized in collaboration with the international scientific organizations COMSTECH and ECOSF.

Margaret Goud Collins, IIASA Secretary for Science and NMOs, accompanied IIASA's Director General and CEO during the visit. They were accompanied at all meetings by the IIASA Council member from Pakistan, Prof. Dr. Kauser A. Malik from FCC and Pakistan NMO Secretariat representatives Dr. Abubakr Muhammad (LUMS) and Dr. Javaid Khurshid (PAEC).

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Last edited: 16 April 2015


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