Science diplomacy must for evolving culture of research, sustainable development Dr. I.E. Qureshi

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ISLAMABAD-After spending thirty years in science and three years in diplomacy, Dr Imtinan


Elahi Qureshi , Executive Director of the Commission on Science andamp; Technology for Sustainable


Development in South (COMSATS), is the most vocal advocate of science diplomacy in


Pakistan is all set to bid adieu.


Dr Qureshi is stepping down as COMSATS Executive Director next month and he is leaving


behind a rich legacy of phenomenal achievements making the dormant organization into a living,


throbbing platform where all its 24 member states occasionally gather, interact and discuss


problems and challenges being faced by their respective nations in the fields of science.


In an interview, Dr Qureshi said, “Promotion of science diplomacy is vital for linking Pakistani


missions with the local universities and institutes to find space for our researchers and scholars”.


One of the substantive achievements under Dr Qureshis tenure was formation of International


Thematic Research Groups (ITRGs) this is a project conceived with an objective to achieve


South-South cooperation by undertaking well-defined joint research projects in various Sandamp;T


fields and with the participation of researchers and scientists belonging to different Randamp;D


institutions from COMSATS Member States and other developing countries. The focus of these


ITRGs is on joint research projects, expert-exchange, short-term trainings and sharing of


facilities/laboratory resources, said Dr Qureshi.


When asked how he found himself coming towards diplomacy from the field of science, he said


he was serving in Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission as research scientist and scientific


administrator and his areas of specialization include atomic and particle physics when he was


posted Minister (Technical) in the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations in


Geneva. “I represented Pakistan as a member of delegation in the meetings of Conference on


Disarmament, Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and United Nations Economic and


Social Councils Commission on Science and Technology for Development and many other


important meetings and conference. There I realized how important is the role of a foreign


mission in cultivating groundwork for promotion of science and resolution of challenges in the


fields of science.” This is why I am trying my level best to involve foreign missions and building


linkages with academia and researchers through them for effective collaboration, he said.


To a question that what is the future of science in Pakistan and why successive Pakistan


governments are not keen to make scientific policy as its guiding principle, he said there was an


urgent need to appoint an Adviser to Prime Minister on Science. This is a popular concept


around the world and heads of states and the governments in advanced countries seek advice of


their Advisers on Science on key matters. “Besides, for consistent growth we need to


individuals at the helm of ministry of science andamp; technology consistently”, said Dr Qureshi.


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Published in: Volume 07 Issue 30

Short Link: http://www.technologytimes.pk/?p=15989