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Khawaja Asif receives the Doctor of International Relations (DIR) degree at Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations (GSD). —Photo courtesy GSD
Khawaja Asif receives the Doctor of International Relations (DIR) degree at Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations (GSD). —Photo courtesy GSD

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree by the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations (GSD) on Tuesday, the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.

Asif was awarded an honorary PhD in International Relations "for his dedication and commitment, as a veteran politician and lawmaker, to the true betterment of Pakistan both at home and abroad," the GSD website said.

It recounted his "contribution to the welfare of the ordinary people of Pakistan" for helping reduce chronic blackouts during his stint as the Minister for Water and Power, and "his genuine, valued and vital contribution to domestic and regional peace and stability" as the Minister of Defence.

Besides the students and the faculty of the GSD, ambassadors of Bhutan, Malaysia, Qatar, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka, Syria Vietnam, as well as senior diplomats from a number of other countries also attended the event, FO informed.

This honour has been accorded previously to leading international figures including the former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of Switzerland Adolf Ogi and the former president and foreign minister of Bosnia Haris Sladjik.

In his address at the GSD on Pakistan’s foreign policy, "Asif noted that the present government in Pakistan has successfully steered the country on path of economic development by controlling the menace of terrorism and extremism, thereby creating climate for investment and business, and by enhancing regional connectivity through trans-boundary energy and infrastructure projects," the FO statement read.

Asif also visited Geneva Centre for Security Policy, where the foundation signed an agreement with Pakistan’s National Defence University in his presence.

He was in Geneva to present Pakistan’s report of the third cycle of Universal Periodic Review, at the United Nations Human Rights Council.