Islamabad (Staff Reporter): Dr. Marc Barety, the newly appointed Ambassador of France to Pakistan, called on Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC in his maiden visit to the Higher Education Commission here on Tuesday. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC was also present on the occasion.
Felicitating the Ambassador on his appointment in Pakistan, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed welcomed him to HEC and shared with him the strong and active collaboration between HEC and the French Embassy. He hoped that the bilateral collaborative efforts will be further strengthened in the days to come.
The Chairman shed light on a few project jointly run by HEC and French partners including PERIDOT, a Franco-Pakistani Hubert Curien Partnership providing opportunities to Pakistani and French researchers to interact for joint research activities. He informed the Ambassador that Pakistan Day was celebrated in Campus France, while French Day was organised in Pakistan which shows the commitment to strong relations on both sides.
The Chairman said that, since its inception in 2002, HEC aims to develop higher education by ensuring equitable access, relevant research activities and quality of education. “Pakistan has a population of 100 million youth and it is a gold mine which needs to be tapped,” he stressed. He revealed that HEC is committed to providing maximum opportunities to youth in view of its mission to harbinger a knowledge-based economy.
Referring to various academic activities carried out by HEC, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said HEC recently held a festival on archaeology entitled ‘Heritage Now’ in Lahore. He maintained that over 20,000 people including foreign researchers and French academics attended the event. He emphasised that the academia needs to promote constructive science for a prosperous future of the whole world. “We are blessed to have this opportunity and are duty-bound to contemplate how to address the miseries of mankind,” the Chairman stated.
The Ambassador showed optimism that Pakistan and France will see improved collaboration. He appreciated the efforts of HEC for strengthening academic relations between Pakistan and France. He assured that the French Embassy will continue cooperating with HEC in improving bilateral academic bonds.
On the occasion, Dr. Arshad Ali underlined the HEC’s endeavours for a holistic development of higher education sector in Pakistan. He said the pace of development of higher education sector was enhanced after the foundation of HEC, adding that HEC is determined to promote research culture in the country and has introduced new technologies with the help of friends like France.