The Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, visited the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Islamabad, 7th July 2017, and had a meeting with Ambassador of Palestine to Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Walid Abu Ali. Dr. Zaidi was accompanied by the Advisor (Programmes), Mr. Tajammul Hussain; Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes), Ms. Huma Balouch; Senior Programme Officer, Mr. Zubair Iqbal. Also present during the meeting were the First Secretary/Cultural and Educational Attaché of the Palestine Embassy, Mr. Husni Muhammad Mustafa; and Admin Attaché, Mr. Khalil Abu Ghalyoun.
The honourable Ambassador expressed his gratitude to the Executive Director COMSATS for his visit hoping for the positive impact of this meeting on the future cooperation between the State of Palestine and COMSATS. During the meeting, matters of mutual interest related to potential academic and research cooperation were discussed. At the outset of the meeting, the honourable Ambassador appreciated the effort and work of COMSATS so far. His Excellency also appreciated the efforts of COMSATS Secretariat to induct Al-Quds University as COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence.
His Excellency mentioned that the Government of Palestine supports the participation of Palestinians in international forums which provide an opening in the wall of silence which the international community has imposed on the Palestinian people. Induction of Al-Quds University as Centre of Excellence in COMSATS Network sends a strong message of its recognition to the whole world, despite being struggling with conditions that seemed to crystallize the impact of the occupation on higher education in the West Bank.
The Executive Director COMSATS reiterated CIIT’s standing offer of scholarships to Palestinian students. Furthermore, he made an offer to provide local hospitality to the faculty members from Palestinian universities if they wished to serve or visit any of the seven campuses of CIIT. The Ambassador informed that he was trying his best to encourage the academic and research community of Palestine to visit the academic and R&D institutions of Pakistan. The Executive Director COMSATS proposed a visit of a 10-member delegation of faculty from Pakistan’s leading university to Al-Quds University and other relevant academic institutions of Palestine to explore avenues of mutual cooperation.
The Executive Director COMSATS expressed desire to have a meeting with the Palestinian Minister for Education and Higher Education in order to apprise him about the role of COMSATS in facilitating S&T cooperation in the developing world. The Advisor (Programmes) noted that COMSATS’ future programmes with Palestine would involve the following:
- Educational opportunities in the form of doctoral and post-doctoral scholarships offered for Palestinian students at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Pakistan; Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), Iran; International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Pakistan; and International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences (ICCES), China;
- Collaboration through participation of Al-Quds University in Coordinating Council; and
- S&T capacity-building by participation of Palestinian scientists in COMSATS’ sponsored symposia/workshops/training programmes.
His Excellency handed over the nomination documents of two Palestinian students for admission in Doctoral Programme in fields of Environmental Sciences, and Statistics under relevant programmes offered by CIIT.
The meeting ended with a note of optimism for stronger relations between COMSATS and Palestine and signing of memory book by the Executive Director COMSATS. His Excellency presented souvenirs to the Executive Director and other members of COMSATS’ delegation. After the meeting, the delegation had a tour of the premises including the newly established library.