On invitation of the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, the Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Pakistan, His Excellency Furkat A. Sidikov paid a visit to COMSATS Secretariat on August 02, 2017, for a meeting. Also present were senior officials of COMSATS Headquarters, including Advisor (Programmes), Mr. Tajammul Hussain and Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen.
Welcoming the Uzbek delegation, Dr. Zaidi expressed his desire for cooperation and engagement with the Republic of Uzbekistan. During the meeting, the honourable Ambassador was apprised of COMSATS’ offer of membership for Uzbekistan extended to Chairman of the Committee for Coordination of Science and Technology, Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and requested him to take up the matter of Uzbekistan’s membership to COMSATS with the Government of Uzbekistan.
The Executive Director COMSATS made a brief presentation covering the scope, activities, and capacity building programmes of the organization and elucidated how COMSATS’ Membership would be beneficial for Uzbekistan. The membership he added entails a number of benefits, such as graduate study scholarships by institutions in COMSATS’ Network of Centres of Excellence in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, China, and Turkey; training programmes at selected CoEs, participation in International Thematic Research Groups (ITRG), lectures delivered by Distinguished Professors, help and advice by a panel of experts on ST&I policy, and exchange visits of scientists for exploring avenues of bilateral/multilateral cooperation avenues based on common research interests.
The honourable Ambassador was told that, in spite of lean financial resources and insufficient contributions from its member countries and a small team of Secretariat staff, COMSATS has successfully organized over 240 scientific events, for the benefit of scientific communities of its Member States during the last 23 years.
The Uzbek Ambassador thanked Dr. Zaidi for inviting him to the Headquarters for a briefing on COMSATS. He expressed keen interest in learning about the programmes of the organization, especially in the area of agriculture. The Ambassador highlighted the potential of cooperation between Pakistan and Uzbekistan based on the number of opportunities both the countries have to offer and noted that platform COMSATS can be used to enhance the cooperation between them.
H.E. Mr. Sidikov informed that Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s most populous country and has a huge potential in agriculture, education, energy, and health. Being an agrarian country, Uzbekistan’s economy is primarily dependent upon cotton processing. Identifying agriculture as a major area of cooperation, he suggested that COMSATS may collaborate with Uzbek Scientific Research Institute of Cotton Breeding. His Excellency noted that the government of Uzbekistan gives high priority to education and this is reflected in the allocation of resources from the Government of Uzbekistan. He further informed that Uzbekistan has more than 60 universities and institutions of higher learning, including branches of overseas universities. In response to a query from the Advisor (Programmes) regarding the leading R&D institutions in Uzbekistan, he informed that Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences is the leading institution for all types of research.
Regarding COMSATS’ offer of membership, His Excellency proposed that a letter of invitation for the Republic of Uzbekistan to join COMSATS as a Member State, along with COMSATS’ Draft Accession Agreement and other relevant documents, may be provided for onward submission to the Chairman of the Council for Coordination of Science and Technology, Uzbekistan. The Uzbek Ambassador assured to personally follow-up the case of Uzbekistan’s membership to COMSATS.
The meeting ended on a note of understanding for cooperative measures between COMSATS and Uzbek institutions. At the end of the meeting, Executive Director COMSATS presented a souvenir to Ambassador Sidikov.