Chinese envoy opens exhibition
Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing inaugurated an exhibition of photographs showcasing the progress of China over the last few decades at the Chinese Studies Centre at the National University of Sciences and Technology (Nust). The event marked the advent of the Chinese New Year and depicted the impact of reforms and the Chinese Open Door Policy.
Nust Rector retired Lt Gen Naweed Zaman welcomed the ambassador and spoke about the relationship between China and Pakistan and China and Nust.
He said: “NUST has worked on plans and initiatives in collaboration with Chinese higher education institutions to harness opportunities from the One Belt, One Road initiative and CPEC. In May 2016, NUST had the privilege of holding the first Beijing Forum outside of China.”
The ambassador said Pak-China relations would continue to become stronger with each generation and the important thing was to expand and deepen people-to-people contact. To this end, he said, the number of scholarships for Pakistani students in China will be increased.
He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a long-term project and its next phase will focus on investment, joint ventures, the establishment of special economic zones (SEZs), engagement in the power sector as well as export-oriented cooperation. Education, health, agriculture, poverty reduction and human resources were all sectors of cooperation during the next phase.
Iran celebrates Islamic Revolution anniversary
Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost welcomed guests to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the country’s national day on Feb 11.
Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal was invited as the chief guest, alongside other political and military officials and ambassadors.
Iranian children performed the Iranian and Pakistani national anthems at the event.
“I believe that it is important we soften the formal elements at our serious events,” said a retired Pakistani ambassador, adding that she appreciated the children’s contribution.
In their speeches, the ambassador and the chief guest highlighted cordial relations between Iran and Pakistan. Ambassador Honardoost dwelt on aspects of history, while Ms Jalal said she foresaw growth and a deepening of ties built on the foundation of the past.
It was noted that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan upon his electoral victory over the telephone.
This was followed by a cake-cutting ceremony and a buffet dinner featuring Iranian and Pakistani cuisine.
Oxbridge lecture on TAPI gas pipeline
Irshadullah Khan, the secretary general of Oxbridge, the Oxford and Cambridge Society, chaired its February lecture last week. The speaker was Muhammatmyrat Amanov, CEO and chairman of the TAPI Pipeline Company, headquartered in Turkmenistan.
Mr Amanov spoke about the strategic importance of the gas pipeline, which connects Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Turkmen Ambassador Atadjan Movlamov presided over the lecture, which was well attended by diplomats, including Afghan Ambassador Shukrullah Atif Mashal, Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and several retired Pakistani ambassadors and civil servants.
The speaker gave an overview of the project, from its beginnings in the 1990s. In response to questions, he said security was well taken care of and he anticipated that gas prices would be lower than competing products but he could not fix a price. He said a large construction project like TAPI, which includes building an 1,814 kilometre pipeline through several countries, started in 2015 and was quite complicated. He assured that it was well underway.
“I found the lecture interesting and I am certainly quite optimistic about the potential of the project,” retired ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi, who currently heads the Centre for International Strategic Studies, said.
Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2019