‘Initiatives like CPEC to change Pakistan’s fate’

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Lahore: Former ambassador to China and envoy at United Nations Muhammad Masood Khan said the fate Pakistan was rapidly changing due to new initiatives taken by the government like Pakistan China Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would bring prosperity in the region, benefiting all stakeholders.

He was delivering a lecture on the topic of ‘Science, Technology and Diplomacy’ at the University of Management and Technology (UMT) on Wednesday. “We should trust the Chinese investment but also have to keep an open eye on what is being done for CPEC. Pakistan needs to increase its investment in the field of science and technology. Bilateral relations need to be developed with all countries of the world including Africa where a number of opportunities are waiting for investors,” the UN envoy added.

He said Middle East is going through proxy war and major players do not know how to bring stability in the region.

Khan said that UMT Rector Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad is a visionary leader who has created a great institution to serve the nation and provide talented manpower to the country. “The growth of UMT as an institution in such a short span of time is very impressive; UMT covers all aspects of imparting education of contemporary sciences especially science and technology,” he added.

Citing China as an example, he said China realises that agriculture is important but it focuses on industry and same is the case with other developed countries of the world that tend to focus on industry, innovation and on technology. He said people held misconceptions about diplomacy and diplomats, thinking them as liars but that’s not true at all.

On a query, Khan said that science and technology is actually sustainable human development that is playing a key role in developing cultural, public and economic diplomacy and we as human beings are benefiting from it because there is strong correlation between diplomacy and science and technology.

Analysing the universities of the Muslim World and making their comparison with the modern developed countries, he said Islamic world has still not come out of the era of past glory when it did make inventions and impressed the world. “Things have changed a lot now and there seem very few universities of the Muslim world that are up-to-date and according to international standard. We are not focusing on science and technology but other countries are doing so,” he added.

 

He said the secret of US hegemony and development lies in its universities, which are the real strength of the country. “United States is great because its universities are great; they focus on science and technology and happen to be their real strength,” Khan said, adding that US has set up a number of centres of excellence in all disciplines of science including social sciences.

Throwing light on Pakistanis talent, Khan said that in 1960 and to 70’s, our country focused on producing quality engineers, doctors and we succeeded in attaining nuclear power. He said a number of talented Pakistanis migrated abroad for learning purposes and 90% of scientists who received training abroad returned and served the nation but today whosoever goes does not return, as we do not offer them more opportunities to utilise their expertise.

Appreciating former Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman Dr Attaur Rehman, he said that Dr Rehman played a key role in promoting higher education in Pakistan especially science and technology. “Pakistan was recognised as having innovation and we made rapid progress in Rehman’s period, which was really a golden period for science and technology” he added. He urged UMT to play its role in popularisation of education of science and technology. “If our universities do not set standards for the education of science and technology, we will lack behind in all fields of life”, he stressed.