The role of universities in imparting meaningful and high quality education is crucial for the development of a country and key to boosting the country’s economic fortunes. This was stated by Turkish Centre for Strategic Research Chairman Professor Mesut Ozcan during a daylong seminar on Tuesday.

The professor is also the director of Diplomacy Academy of Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The seminar was part of a series of events being held to mark and honour 70 years of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Turkey. The event was held at the University of Management and Technology in Lahore under the aegis of its recently established Pak-Turk Studies Centre.

Addressing the participants, Professor Mesut said collaboration of the two brotherly nations was key to taking bilateral relations forward, adding that Turkey was playing a lead role in the development of Pakistan through various initiatives and projects being undertaken by Turkish companies across the country.

Ozcan commended UMT and ILM Trust Chairman Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad for taking the lead in setting up Pakistan’s first Pak-Turk Studies Centre, saying the facility would hopefully become a platform for meaningful public policy research in social, economic and political disciplines that would be of immense value to both countries. He said Pakistani students would be offered scholarships through the Pak-Turk centre for pursuing higher studies in Turkey.

The professor added that Turkey and Pakistan had many things in common and the relationship spanning over decades was growing stronger each passing day.

Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, Pakistan’s former minister for foreign affairs, said Turkey had always come to Pakistan’s aid in testing times and was continuously contributing to the development and prosperity of Pakistan. He said just like Turkey, Pakistan too needed a brave and competent leadership in order to root out political and economic crises, including terrorism.

Addressing the seminar, Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad said Turkey was uncompromisingly looking after its interests and bilateral connections between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect, brotherhood and unconditional friendship were helping Pakistan stabilize its economy and make amends in other fields as well.

Dr Hasan said the core objective of Pak-Turk Studies Centre at UMT was to provide a forum for strategic discourse, develop study programmes, enable exchange of faculty and students and host seminars and conferences on issues of mutual interest.

He said UMT had already set up a bureau office in Ankara and had won the Turkish government’s support for establishing a world-class university in order to translate the concept of ‘Two Countries-One Nation’ about Pakistan-Turkey friendship into a reality.

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