University to be set up in PM house to provide courses on CPEC, security, central asian studies


ISLAMABAD: The government is deliberating various options to initiate research studies related to subjects such as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), environment, water issues, central asian studies and security in the Centre of High Learning University to be set up in the Prime Minister House.

Well-placed sources told Pakistan Today that the committee tasked to convert the PM house into a university of international standards discussed various options relating to the subjects to be offered in the university, and regarding the usage of the existing PM House building in its first meeting held here on Monday.

They said that the meeting was jointly chaired by the Federal Education and Professional Training minister Shafqat Mehmood who is also the convener of the committee, and Human Rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari.

Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfiqar Bokhari, Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman Dr Tariq Banuri, HEC consultant Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Ashgar, Federal Education secretary Arshad Mirza, and Professional Training member/secretary also attended the meeting.

Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University’s Inaugural Dean, Adil Najam, and Ex-Vice Chancellor LUMS joined the meeting via video link, while Advisor to PM on institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, and Advisor to PM on Commerce and Industry Abdul Razzaq Dawood did not attend the meeting.

They said that it was the first deliberative meeting in which it was discussed that the PM’s existing building could be easily converted into a university without spending hefty amounts into building additional blocks in the premises; hence this option should be given a priority.

The sources further said that the committee deliberated that only PhD and MPhil courses be offered in the state-of-art university, but main research areas should be CPEC, water, environment, and the Central Asian States as well as security.

They said that since at present the country is facing financial problems; hence it would be wise to start university in the existing building and grants should be approved from China, Euro-Asia and other countries to ease the burden onto the government.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Joint Educational Advisor Muhammad Rafique Tahir said that it was the first meeting of the committee in which various possible options were discussed including social sciences and earth sciences.

To a question, he said that the option to use the existing PM House building for the university at the early stage was discussed and additional blocks would be constructed with the passage of time.

Rafique said that since the government is planning to make the PM House a university of international standards, its initial, as well as future deliberations, would be made in this regard.

He added that the committee would present the details of the meeting to the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the next meeting of the committee is to be held within two to three weeks.