PEA president says his organisation is striving to create soft image of Pakistan, and strengthen ties between Tallinn, Islamabad
LAHORE/TALLINN: Estonia is a small, burgeoning, North European country which is the current world leader in the information technology development and the digitisation of all aspects of life.
Pakistan Estonia Association (PEA) President Yar Muhammad, who is CEO of Adroit Soft, and also a professor at the University of Tartu, spoke exclusively to Pakistan Today about why Pakistanis choose to study and work in Estonia, and the many opportunities the country offers.
“Higher education in this small EU state comes at relatively low tuition fee, as living costs are low and there are various scholarships for international students,” said Yar.
In 2014, Estonia became the first country to adopt the concept of E-residency and has a complete computer-based government. Before that in 2005, it was the first nation to hold elections over the internet.
Home to around 150 Pakistanis, of whom 50 per cent are currently students of PhD, masters or bachelors degrees related to the fields of science and engineering, Estonia has recently signed a crucial academic collaboration, approved Erasmus, and established International Credit Mobility Funds between Pakistan and Estonian Universities.
Praising Estonia’s easy laws regarding immigrant workers and their relatively liberal society, Yar Muhammad said that as an international student in Estonia, a person can combine their studies with part-time or full-time jobs, which are enough to provide a good standard of living during their stay.
About the recent educational collaborations, PEA president said that the collaboration was developed between University of Tartu Narva College and National University Science of Technology (NUST), School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering (SMME), Islamabad and Mehran University of Engineering & Technology (MUET), Faculty of Electrical, Electronics & Computer Engineering (FEECSE)—a step that will go a long way in helping students pursue their education in Europe.
While discussing Estonians’ view on Pakistanis, Yar Muhammad said that the people there were not particularly aware of Pakistan and its culture, but the PEA was working towards changing this trend.
“The PEA aim to create soft image of the country and strengthen the ties between both the countries,” he said, adding, “We wish to expand people-to-people contact and linkage between Estonia and Pakistan by playing our role as the people’s voice.”
In this regard, he seems to be doing a good job. In the recent past, he met the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid whom he introduced to the Pakistani community in Estonia and familiarised with Pakistani traditions and culture. The Estonian president responded favourably, lauding the work of the Pakistani community.
Earlier on November 30, Pakistan cultural evening was celebrated in Tallinn, which was hosted by the Pakistani Community and Kesklinna Noortekeskus.
In the event, information was given about the history, culture, traditions, and ethnic wear of Pakistan, as well as offering a glimpse of interesting natural locations across the country for tourism.