Indo-Pak ministers discuss cooperation in science, technology
NEW DELHI: Science and Technology Minister Professor Attaur-Rehman met his Indian counterpart Dr Murli Manohar Joshi in New Delhi on Wednesday and decided to exchange visits of officials. Discussions were held to explore the possibilities of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in science and technology. “If we have to eradicate the menace of poverty and if the two countries have to move ahead, it has to be through education,” he said.
Mr Rehman also pointed out that India was according top priority to information technolongy and budget allocations were being increased from 1.2 percent to 2 percent of the gross national product. The meeting also observed that Pakistan was ahead of India because in the last two and a half years, Internet access had spread to 1600 cities, covering 95 percent of the country. It was decided that by exchanging knowledge and experiences, both countries could benefit.
The two ministers agreed to initiate a mutually beneficial cooperation programme in science and technology. Emphasis was also given to industrial, agricultural, health, biotechnology, information technology, engineering sciences, pharmaceuticals and bio-informatics.
The ministry officials of both the countries said that for higher education, visits would be made to identify and finalise some meaningful projects. After programming and planning, higher officials would also visit the other country for implementation of these projects.
Mr Joshi accepted Mr Rehman’s invitation to visit Pakistan. He also presented a replica of the Taj Mahal to Mr Rehman as a token of friendship. Mr Rehman said, “I am carrying a message of peace and good will and harmony and looking forward to the composite dialogue that is going to develop in near future.” He will deliver plenary lecture at an international conference organised by International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
Mr Rehman is one of the fifteen scientists and intellectuals from all over the world, who would deliver lecture at the conference.
However, it was observed that the future of cooperation between the two countries depends on the success of forthcoming composite dialogue and the level of normalisation of relations between the two countries. —NNI/APP