The International Office (IO) organized a talk titled “Global peace under the changing world scenario” by H.E. Mr. Frédéric Verheyden, Ambassador of Belgium in Pakistan on April 24, 2017 in the Business Incubation Center, First Floor, CIIT, Islamabad campus. H.E. Mr. Frédéric Verheyden along with Mr. Bruno Vandecasteele, First Secretary arrived at CIIT at 10.30 am and were warmly greeted by Dr. Arshad S. Malik, Head and other senior officials of International Office and Ambassador retired Madam Fauzia Nasreen, CPS.
Afterwards the Ambassador had a brief meeting with Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, Rector, CIIT in his office. During the meeting, the Rector expressed concern over global politics and violence. He said that the violence can be traced back to our evolution from the animal kingdom. In response, H.E. remarked that man is the biggest predator. During the conversation, H.E. referred to two aspects on which the Belgian Embassy is focussing within the educational sphere; Alumni formation and engaging with University of Hasselt with which an MoU has been signed by HEC.
After the brief meeting, the Ambassador was escorted to the BIC for his presentation. By a conservative estimate, around eighty plus individuals attended the talk. Proceedings started with playing of the Belgian and Pakistani Anthems. H.E. commenced his talk by drawing attention to the Belgian Anthem which was sung in 3 languages ie French, Flemish and German to signify the multiculturalism and tolerance in Belgium. He then delved through his personal experience of 20 years of diplomatic assignments in different countries of the world. He highlighted that earlier things were simple eg there was a communist and a capitalist world so a nation could be one or the other. But now, global politics has become so complicated that states are watching their interests on issue to issue basis. Furthermore, rivalries and competition have creeped out of nowhere and which defy any rational logic. In this scenario, what is required is taking charge of responsibility by nations and changing the fundamentals.
After the talk, questions regarding internal security of Belgium, BREXIT, CPEC and educational policy of Belgium were raised which were aptly addressed by the Belgium Ambassador. After the animated and thought-provoking talk and Q and A, a song was presented by a student of CIIT.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Arshad Malik profusely thanked the Ambassador for sparing his precious time to visit CIIT. He highlighted the opportunities of study in Belgium where there are very nominal tuition fee. He on a lighter note asked the students what is Belgium known for which was quickly replied by a lady in the audience "Chocolates". He also told the audience that CIIT has 4/5 Belgian Alumni in its various campuses. He then gave a comprehensive briefing on CIIT, its impressive growth, national and international standing and outreach. Talking about CIITs fast growth, he said that the Times Higher Education (THE) latest rankings have placed CIIT amongst top 141-150 in Asia; top 200 in the world’s Young Universities under the age of 50; top 137 amongst BRICS and Emerging Economies; and amongst top 601-800 in the World Universities Ranking during 2016-17.
The function ended with a group photograph and exchange of mementoes after which H.E. and Mr. Bruno were invited to partake in lunch. The Ambassador departed around 12.45 PM.
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