Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Mukhtar Ahmed on Thursday narrated the significance of education diplomacy in bringing sustainable peace and stability in the region. He was addressing the audience in the one-day National Conference on “75 Years of Pakistan: History, Diplomacy and Economy” organized by Iqra University (IU), Islamabad Campus.

Speaking on the occasion, he highlighted the importance of understanding our historical roots, the political transformation, transitions in diplomatic relations as well as the economic developments over the past 75 years of our homeland.

He said that it is pertinent to have a critical understanding of our history, so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. In his address, he also urged the research community to organize academic debates, initiate institutional reforms and hence play a positive and constructive role in countering regional issues such as climate change, population growth, and food scarcity.

He suggested that in this age of hate speech, violence, contempt, stigmatization, education diplomacy can play a key role in promoting inclusivity, social cohesion and peaceful co-existence in a multi-faith society like ours.

Honoring the sentiment of the Diamond Jubilee of Pakistan, he urged the scholars to put hope in the hearts of the young generation so that we embark on a future journey full of hope and passion, full of dreams and challenges, and commitment to serve our motherland.

In his welcome address, the Guest of Honour Vice-Chancellor/ President, Iqra University, Prof Dr Wasim Qazi stressed on maintaining evolutionary continuity between our past, present and future. He said, “History is a great teacher as its understanding leads to the intellectual evolution of human existence. Pakistan as a nation has also progressed in the 75 years of its existence, however, we are somehow stuck with the pre-independence historical movements.”

He put emphasis on the need to align our diplomatic goals with the economic betterment of our country. The event was attended by HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Vice Chancellor/President, Iqra University, Prof Dr Wasim Qazi, Vice President, Iqra University, Dr Muhammad Islam, South African Councillor Mr Brian Witbooi, Turkish Education Counsellor Mr Mehmet Emin Kiraz, Head of Mission at Finland’s Embassy in Islamabad Mr Hannu Ripatti, and diplomats of other countries.

Key academicians from around 25 public & private sector universities from across Pakistan were also present. Throughout the day, around 45 scholars presented their research papers in the academic sessions at 3 different venues within the university.

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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