Lahore, October 26, 2022 (PPI-OT):Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission Prof Dr Shahid Munir has said that the countries of South Asia must learn from past mistakes and make new agreements to move forward and develop their nations. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 3-day international conference on ’75 years of South Asia’s history: past, present and future’ organized by Punjab University Department of History and Pakistan Studies at Al Raazi Hall here on Wednesday.
On this occasion, Dean Faculty of Arts and Humanities Prof Dr Amra Raza, Dr Iftikhar Ahmed Malik of Oxford University, Dr Sara Ansari from University of London (online), Convener of Parliamentary Research Group Zafarullah Khan, faculty members, students and researchers from all over the world participated. In his speech, Dr Shahid Munir said that the countries involved in South Asia are facing four types of problems, which include population, climate change, conflicts and unemployment. He said that there was scarcity of resources in the region as the population is increasing rapidly.
He said that the increase in population not only causes economic instability but also affects the education system. He said that according to an estimate, the world’s population will reach 10 billion in 2050, which needs to be controlled. He said that climate change has greatly affected the South Asian region. He said that timely measures to eliminate pollution are the most important need of the hour. He said that this region has been suffering from many conflicts, including terrorism, wars and the Kashmir issue. He said that according to UNICEF, most of the population of South Asia consists of young people under the age of 24, for whom unemployment is a major problem.
He said that in recent years, the war between Russia and Ukraine, along with COVID-19, has increased the employment problems at the global level. He said that South Asian countries have to learn from past mistakes and move towards a better future by making proper use of resources. He said that there is a need to strengthen the ties between the SAARC countries, to ensure the provision of skills to the educational institutions as per the needs of the industry and to give importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
Dr Iftikhar Ahmad Malik said that there are numerous institutions for higher education in Pakistan, but good research must be promoted to improve the quality of education. He said that in order to promote quality education in Pakistan’s public and private universities, an atmosphere of competition must be created because without it the process of development is inevitable. Dr Sarah Ansari discussed the history of South Asia.
Zafarullah Khan said that there has been a lack of communication between the countries of South Asia. He said that Pakistan and Bangladesh have gone through the experiences of good and bad democracies. Dr Amra Raza while thanking the distinguished guests, congratulated the organizers for organizing such an impressive conference. She said that the South Asian region is a combination of different cultures, religions, archeology and languages.
She said that our problems related to food, living conditions, education and employment are similar. She said that the subject of history should be given importance because it has a major role in policy making. Chairman Department of History and Pakistan Studies Prof Dr Mehboob Hussain said that as many as 120 research papers will be presented in the conference. The conference will continue on Thursday (today) as well.
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University of the Punjab
Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan