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Photography exhibition at SU highlights 70 years of UK-Pakistan friendship

Photography exhibition at SU highlights  70 years of UK-Pakistan friendship

HYDERABAD: Acting British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi Steve Crossman on Tuesday observed that education played an important role in friendship between the United Kingdom and Pakistan as the two countries looked to progress together.

He noted that Pakistan was the recipient of the biggest education programme — the department for international development (DFID) — anywhere in world. He also pointed out that many Sindhi scholars won Chevening scholarships to study in the UK. These scholarships, he said, served to deepen warmth and understanding between the two countries.

Mr Crossman was speaking at an exhibition of photography jointly organised by the British Council and Sindh University at the university’s Institute of Art & Design to mark 70 years of UK-Pakistan friendship.

British Council Director for Sindh & Balochistan Christopher Hunt, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and SU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Fateh Mohammad Burfat jointly inaugurated the exhibition.

Mr Crossman said that 2017 was a historic year as both UK and Pakistan were celebrating 70 years of the friendship. He said expressed his pleasure over holding of the exhibition in Jamshoro after London, Lahore and Peshawar.

He said the photographs put on display showcased British cooperation with Pakistan in trade, sports, politics, development, defence, education, infrastructure and culture over the last 70 years and looked towards deepening the friendship over the next 70 years.

He announced the launch of a great nationwide debate competition for students from next month in Karachi. “We encourage students of Sindh University to participate in the competition.”

Christopher Hunt said that British Council first started its work in Karachi in 1947. “Today, we work in all provinces and engage with millions of Pakistanis every year,” he added.

He said the BC helped nearly 45,000 boys and girls enrol and stay in schools in Sindh over the past two years. They had supported tens of thousands of students in Sindh in gaining internationally recognised qualifications and working towards a promising future, he observed.

Speaking at a discussion at the exhibition, Agha Siraj Durrani said that British government had launched a number of development projects in Sindh but it should do more to help the province progress. He admitted that the Sukkur barrage, railways networks in Pakistan and many other things were gifts from British and also appreciated the assistance and cooperation being extended to Pakistan by the British Council. “We expect more from British government for development and progress of the province,” he said.

Durrani said it was his personal opinion that the dream of a prosperous Sindh could not come true unless quality education was imparted to its people.

He pointed out that the SU now got a permanent VC after long time and expressed his confidence that being a diligent and hardworking gentleman, Prof Burfat would be able to lead the institution to new avenues of success.

If the SU administration will send proposals for the growth of this institution, the Sindh Asse­mbly would be happy to enact laws accordingly, he said.

Later, speaking to reporters, the senior PPP leader defended moves to get rid of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He argued that the existing NAB laws were introduced and enforced by dictator Pervez Musharraf as a result of which many politicians including him were sent to jail and he himself faced cases for over 10 years. He said legislation was the domain of Sindh Assembly and no one could stop it from working within it. He said the house wanted to introduce a fair accountability body and get rid of NAB in the light of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

Durrani said Gen Musharraf violated laws and disfigured the Constitution. “He doesn’t have courage to return home and face the cases registered against him. He resorted to levelling baseless allegations against PPP leadership in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case. If he possesses any evidence, he should make the same public.”

Durrani remarked that Gen Musharraf’s recent statement was an attempt to stay in media. “Such stupid statements are given when one does not have any issue to talk over.”

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2017

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