PU, Russian varsity hold seminar on Islamabad-Moscow ties

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

Faculty of Arts Dean Prof. Dr Amra Raza and Humanities, and Professor Alexandra Safronova, Head of the Department of South Asian History, Institute of
Asian and African Studies, welcomed the participants and appreciated the conduct of the international webinar.

Dr Amjad Abbas Magsi Associate Professor and  Dr. Anna Bochkovskaya delivered keynote speeches.

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. Punjab University, being the largest University of Pakistan offers Educational facilities in the fields of languages and arts.

She desired to renew the Memoranda of Understanding for innovative economies. She hoped  for extended cooperation between the two countries as well as the two Universities.
Addressing the audience with a welcome speech, Professor Alexandra Safronova, Head of the Department of South Asian History, Instutute of Asian and African Studies, 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.

In his keynote speech, 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 underscored the need to diversfy the  basis of interactions.They will  have to leave  the past behind to make  substantial head way in the relationship.They need to focus on their mutual benefits rather through lense of outside factors.

There is a lot of scope to consolidate and widen the foundations  for the lasting friendship.  Both the countries can further cooperation in the fields of energy , Art and Cultural exchange to increase people to people contacts. Through easy Visa regime, business and interactions can be frequent.

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.

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.

Faculty Members from Pakistan Study Centre Prof. Naumana Kiran, Dr. Ahmad Ejaz, Dr. Karim Haider participated alongwith PhD and M.phil Scholars. Students learning Urdu in  Lomonosov Moscow  State University also participated.The webnar ended with Question Answer followed the discussion.

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