Ambassador Masood Khan
In his welcome remarks, Director General ISSI, Ambassador Masood Khan, said that there is a strong nexus between education, science, technology and national security. He recalled the achievements of the Muslim scientists and scholars who made impressive strides in the field of science and technology. Muslim scholars excelled in the disciplines of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Biology and Philosophy, and that the renaissance of the Islamic world was in a way, a preamble to the European renaissance. Prior to the advancements in Taxonomy, the scientific and philosophical disciplines were all inter-connected, thus well-rounded scholars were produced. Likewise, national security is also viewed as a multi-dimensional concept that requires a robust approach to be tackled comprehensively. In order to handle security and all its diverse parameters, it is imperative to invest in scientific and technological advancement in Pakistan. He recollected the golden era of the 1960s when basic scientific disciplines in Pakistan were introduced and consolidated. This decision was instrumental behind the self-sufficiency of Pakistan in nuclear expertise. He stressed that the real steel is manufactured not in ordinance factories, but in universities and educational institutes.
Importance of academia and pedagogy was highlighted by the Director General. He acknowledged the efforts of Hasan Sohaib Murad, Rector of the University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore in revolutionising the campus in terms of bringing the scientific and business communities together. An interface needs to be developed between all academic, business and government sectors so that joint ventures can be carried out in complete harmony. He also pointed out that all the ground-breaking discoveries in science being carried out in Pakistan need to patented, copyrighted and documented into the international scientific community. Scientific Diplomacy must be employed to help revitalise the scientific relations of Pakistan with other countries. Taking pride in Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities, he emphasised that without investing in indigenous scientific expertise; we cannot maintain or refine our nuclear programme.