Islamic world has capacity to change course of 21st century: Gilani

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday said the Islamic world has great potential for growth and with one fourth of world population and enormous natural resources, it has the capacity to change the course of 21st century.Speaking at a dinner hosted in honour of COMSTECH delegates here, he said, “But it will not come about easily. It will need concerted efforts by all. In this knowledge driven world, countries that are investing massively in education, science & technology are moving ahead rapidly.”Secretary General OIC Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and ministers were present on the occasion.Gilani said since the primary requirement to develop a knowledge economy is a highly trained technical work force, Pakistan has invested heavily and made significant strides in higher education in recent years with a remarkable 600 per cent growth in research publications over the last decade, and a ten times growth in citations.
This has been acknowledged and applauded in neutral international reports published by the World Bank, USAID and in editorials published by the world’s leading science journal Nature.  It has laid the foundations for transition to a knowledge based economy in Pakistan, he added.

The Prime Minister said COMSTECH has played a crucially important role in building strong bridges between science and technology institutions in the Islamic world and this is reflected from almost 350 projects funded by COMSTECH in 35 OIC member states.With the formation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Organization (STIO) under the umbrella of COMSTECH, further rapid progress of COMSTECH is anticipated with full support from the OIC member states, he added.He congratulated Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman for providing dynamic leadership to COMSTECH and to all the COMSTECH staff for their excellent performance.
“It is vitally important to realize that we can only compete in this rapidly changing world by sharing our expertise in different fields,” he said adding scattered within the Islamic world are some genuine world class Centres of Excellence. Many of these centres have been recognized by the award of Islamic Development Bank Prizes.“In Pakistan we have two such IDB prize winning centres, namely Husein Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry at Karachi University, which is the only centre in the Islamic world winning the IDB Prize twice in the last 6 years, and PINSTECH in Islamabad. Other outstanding centres are located in Malaysia, Egypt, Iran and several other OIC member countries.”He said, “We need to reinforce these centres and build strong science & technology networks around them to serve the entire Ummah.“Both OIC and IDB are moving in this direction and we on behalf of the government of Pakistan fully support this initiative – APP