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Paidar Think Tank: Bridging Pakistan and Africa

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In a significant development aimed at fostering closer ties between Pakistan and African nations, the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) inaugurated the Pakistan-Africa Institute for Development & Research (Paidar). The launch ceremony, held at a hotel, marked the establishment of the first-ever think tank focused on enhancing relations between Pakistan and Africa.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed Lauds Initiative

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, a renowned politician and foreign affairs analyst, delivered the keynote address at the event. He commended the KCFR for this strategic move, emphasizing that Paidar would be instrumental in deepening economic, trade, cultural, and governmental relations between Pakistan and African countries. He highlighted that this initiative comes at a pivotal moment when Afro-Asian nations are poised to play a significant role in global politics, signaling the end of Western hegemony.

Historical Support and Future Prospects

Reflecting on Pakistan’s history, Senator Syed noted the country’s longstanding support for African independence and development since its inception in 1947. He mentioned the significant contributions of Pakistani professionals in post-colonial Africa, such as the late Air Marshal Azim Daudpota, who served as Zimbabwe’s first air chief.

Senator Syed also recalled his role as minister-in-waiting during Nelson Mandela’s visit to Pakistan, where Mandela acknowledged Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s inspirational role in his own struggle for South Africa’s liberation.

Growing Diplomatic Engagements

Pakistan currently has diplomatic missions in 25 African countries, while around 15 African nations have embassies in Islamabad. This growing diplomatic presence underscores the strengthening ties between Pakistan and Africa, which Senator Syed believes will be further solidified through Paidar’s efforts.

Economic and Trade Potential

Tariq Ikram, former chairman of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, highlighted the immense potential for economic and trade relations between Pakistan and African nations. He urged Pakistani businesses to explore African markets actively and suggested that trade officers in Pakistani diplomatic missions could play a crucial role by understanding local market dynamics.

Collaboration in Science, Technology, and Academia

KCFR Chairperson Nadira Panjwani emphasized the advancements made by African countries in academic, scientific, and technological fields. She advocated for collaborative efforts in these areas, noting the significant role of digital communication in accelerating poverty alleviation and development in Africa.

Future Initiatives and Acknowledgments

KCFR Patron-in-Chief Ikram Sehgal expressed his gratitude to the attendees, including the Consul General of Oman in Karachi, Engr Sami Abdullah Salim Al Khanjari. He noted that Oman could serve as a gateway to strengthening economic ties between Pakistan and Africa. Sehgal announced plans for future discussions and round-table events to further explore and enhance Pakistan-Africa relations.

Pakistan-Africa Institute

The establishment of the Pakistan-Africa Institute for Development & Research (Paidar) by the KCFR is a landmark initiative that promises to foster closer ties between Pakistan and African countries. Through collaborative efforts in various sectors, this think tank aims to build a robust partnership that will benefit both regions economically, culturally, and politically.

Abu Bakr Alvi
Abu Bakr Alvi
Mr. Abu Bakr Alvi, Senior Journalist Based in Faisalabad

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