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Sunday October 24, 2021

PU-Russian varsity webinar stresses steps to promote mutual ties

October 15, 2021

LAHORE : Pakistan Study Centre of the Punjab University and Department of South Asian History, Lomonosov Moscow State University Russia Thursday held a joint webinar on prospects for Pakistan-Russia relations.

According to a press release, Dr Amjad Abbas Magsi, Associate Professor and Dr Anna Bochkovskaya delivered key note speeches.

Prof Dr Amra Raza, Director Pakistan Study Centre, Dean Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and Professor Alexandra Safronova, Head of the Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies appreciated the conduct of international webinar. Dr Amra Raza hoped that this academic activity would play a role in bringing the two institutions closer, the faculty and the students. She underscored the need to work collectively in the fields of arts, literature music and sports.

Professor Alexandra Safronova elaborated on the comprehensive nature of Pakistan-Russia relations. She noted that current geopolitical changes have opened up new prospects for cooperation and research. To this end, a possible foundation of the Pakistan–Russia network of higher education institutions, precisely between University of the Punjab and Lomonosov Moscow State University, could yield result through the signing and implementing new memorandums of understanding. This would contribute to the consolidation of research and educational institutions’ efforts in training highly skilled specialists for the innovation economies and to the promotion of academic exchange program between Pakistan and Russia, she said. Dr Amjad Abbas Magsi traced the historical background of the relationship between the two countries He pointed towards transformation in the wake of geo political situation of South Asia. He threw light on the steps taken by both countries to enhance the mutual relationships. It came out that there was realisation in both countries to revitalise their mutual relationships on mutual benefit basis, he said and underscored the need to diversify the basis of interactions. Dr Magsi stressed that there was a need for a joint collaborative strategy to cope up with the situation in Afghanistan especially in the wake of rising humanitarian crisis there. The efforts of Russia about Afghanistan were especially lauded. The role of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is very significant to bring peace and prosperity in the region. Through inclusion of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Iran, this regional forum can bring positive consequences for the region, he said. Dr Magsi pointed out in the fields of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences and Information Technology, Punjab University and Lomonosov Moscow State University could explore joint studies and research projects.

Associate Professor Anna Bochkovskaya highlighted some fields and vectors for joint activities of the two countries, namely, trade, cooperation in energy engineering, military and technical cooperation, in exchanging experience in countering terrorism, which remains among major challenges of the 21st century.

Focusing on the necessity of promoting humanitarian, cultural and scientific ties, Dr Bochkovskaya pointed out that currently there is no intergovernmental program that would cover the cultural and scientific exchange between Russia and Pakistan. Signing a new MoU between the Lomonosov Moscow State University and University of the Punjab seems a very promising perspective for Pakistan-Russia cooperation in the humanities. The webinar option could and should be used to launch some preliminary discussion in this direction, she said. Faculty members from Pakistan Study Centre Prof Naumana Kiran, Dr Ahmad Ejaz, Dr Karim Haider participated alongwith PhD and MPhil scholars. Students learning Urdu in Lomonosov Moscow State University also participated.

VC greeted: On the 139th Foundation Day of Punjab University, Deans of various faculties, heads of departments, employees and students congratulated Vice-Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar. On this occasion, Prof Niaz Ahmad said that in 2018, when he assumed charged as Vice-Chancellor, the PU had 13 faculties, 10 constituent colleges, 73 departments / centres / institutes which were not adequate for the present educational needs.