Jeddah seminar spotlights Pakistan’s progress

Guests and organizers pose for a group photo at the EWF seminar in Jeddah.

Guests and organizers pose for a group photo at the EWF seminar in Jeddah.

The Engineers Welfare Forum (EWF), together with the Jeddah Chambers of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), held a seminar on “Pakistan’s Scientific and Engineering Development” at the JCCI hall on Thursday.

Dr. Shaukat Hameed Khan, Pakistan’s nuclear physicist, in his keynote speech, delved deep into the teachings of Islam as also the history of Muslim achievements to emphasize the importance of knowledge for the Musim community to regain the past glory.

He gave the general trends and imperatives on Pakistan’s scientific landscape and spoke about the major challenges the country faces particularly in energy and power sectors.

Explaining “the leverage” that Pakistan has had in the global imperatives, Dr. Khan presented a detailed report card of the country.

Pakistan, he said, has well adapted to changes and opportunities, which as a result has become the 7th largest science and technology engineering manpower. It is the 24th biggest economy and will be the 12th largest economy by 2030. Home to a very young population, Pakistan is also the least gender discrimination country in the world, which Dr. Khan noted, is due to teachings of Islam.

He focused on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, connecting Gwadar Port in Pakistan to China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang covering some 3,000 km. When completed, he said, it will be a catalyst to Pakistan’s strong economy and development.

The chief guest of the function, Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi, a former Saudi diplomat, took the occasion to highlight the plight of Pakistani citizens languishing in the squalid camps of Dhaka in Bangladesh.

Referring to Islamabad’s recent decision for a special grant of $5 million worth food for its distribution in Rohingya camps in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, Al-Ghamdi said similar efforts could have been taken with regard to Pakistan’s own citizens who are waiting to be taken back to their home country for the last 45 years.

Al-Ghamdi, who considered himself a Pakistani citizen as he had studied in Karachi University, said the stranded Pakistanis are true patriots as they left India in 1947 to join the new nation of Pakistan; and then in 1971 when their land was turned into Bangladesh, they refused to shirk their loyalty with Pakistan.

Consul General Aftab Ahmad Khokher praised the EWF for bringing the “creamy layer” of Pakistan here to showcase the progress and development of the country, and urged the media in general to bring the positive image of Pakistan.

On the issue of Rohingyas, Khokher said he stands with the OIC’s priorities in reaching out to the Muslim community in distress and said the country’s national interest is to seek solution to the Kashmir issue under UN resolution.

Dr. Alim Khan, the EWF president, spoke about EWF’s role in grooming the young talent in the Kingdom, both the Pakistani expats and Saudis.

Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, a research scientist at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, presented his paper on “Catalysis for 21st century: Challenges & Opportunities.” Altaf Hussain Awan had his book, Eternal Imprints, which is a compilation work on Muslim scientists contribution in modern times, released on the occasion.

Plaques of honor were presented to Al-Ghamdi, Dr. Khan, Shakeel Ahmad, Awan and Humayun Taqi.

Masroor Ilahi Khan conducted the function, which was initiated with the holy verses of Qur’an by Qari Mohammed Asif.


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