ISLAMABAD, April 17: The 24th annual cultural week of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) was inaugurated on Tuesday by the varsity’s president, Dr Mumtaz Ahmed.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari was the chief guest on the occasion while President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Yaqoob Ahmad Khan, Prof Dr Sahibzada Sajidur Rehman, and ambassadors of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Somalia to Pakistan attended the opening ceremony.

Students from China, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Kenya, Bangladesh, Iran and other countries set up their stalls.

The stall established by Afghan students featuring different aspects of Afghan life, food, literature and rare livestock was a great attraction for visitors. Students from other countries also showcased different aspects of their respective cultures.

Similarly, students from the four provinces of the country highlighted their cultures.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, IIUI President Prof Dr Mumtaz Ahmad said: “In 1980s, some forces had been preaching only Jihad but after 9/11, the same forces changed their direction and emphasised that Islam is a religion of peace. It is true that Islam is a religion of peace but at the same time Jihad is its integral part. The foundation of Islam is not primarily peace but justice,” he said.

Dr Javaid Laghari urged students and teachers to focus on research-based studies for mastering advance technology. He said the World Bank had a focus on higher education, skilled knowledge, technology, innovation and research. He said universities should devise policies keeping in view the priority of the international monitory institution.

He said the HEC would encourage all innovative ideas so that the pattern of seeking employment could be turned into creating employment. He reiterated that the Muslim youth should work in the field of research and higher education.

UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Essa Abdullah said students were the real assets of the Muslim world. He said his country was contributing to improving the economy of the Muslim countries. He said the UAE had established 22 universities in 40 years and now the students from all over the world were coming to the country to get education.

IIUI Rector Prof Fateh Mohammad Malik said Muslims should remember their duties by keeping in mind that Islam was a religion of peace and harmony.

Iranian Ambassador to Paksitan Ali Reza Haghighian will open the cultural week on the female campus on Wednesday. The event will continue till April 2.

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