First Saudi-Pak study center to be set up at Islamabad’s COMSATS university

Dr. Raheel Qamar Rector, COMSATS University Islamabad, and Dr. Ahmed Yousif A. Al-Draiweesh, President International Islamic University Islamabad, ink an agreement to establish the first Saudi-Pak Study Center at CUI in Islamabad on May 13, 2019. (CUI — Twitter)
Updated 16 May 2019
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First Saudi-Pak study center to be set up at Islamabad’s COMSATS university

  • Center aims to strengthen cooperation between the brotherly countries
  • Initiative will help to promote student and teacher exchange programs

ISLAMABAD: President of the International Islamic University (IIU), Dr. Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh, and Rector of the COMSATS University Islamabad, Dr. Raheel Qamar, this week, inked an agreement to establish the first Saudi-Pak Study Center at COMSATS University.
“Initially we will set-up the Saudi-Pak Scientific International Chair and then establish a physical center later,” Dr. Fahim Qurshi, the registrar at COMSATS told Arab News on Thursday.
Qureshi said the aim of setting up the Chair was to strengthen joint scientific and international cooperation to “serve the purpose of achieving security, peace, stability, tranquility and sustainable development in both countries.”

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan aim to establish a joint scientific study center and establish a Scientific International Chair that serves the purpose of achieving security, stability a sustainable development in both countries. An agreement was inked on May 13, 2019.  (CUI - Twitter)


He said that the cooperation agreement would be celebrated after the Holy Month of Ramadan in a ceremony attended by high-ranking government officials from both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
“This initiative will help to promote student and teacher exchange programs,” Qureshi said.
“The memorandum of understanding encompasses various facets of academic, research and scientific cooperation and is geared toward building a joint think tank to advise both governments on policy issues arising in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor,” International Islamic University said in press release on May 13 when the agreement was inked. “Saudi Arabia has aligned itself as a strategic partner of both China and Pakistan for expanding the Belt and Road Initiatives.”
In January this year, Saudi Arabia announced 583 fully funded scholarships for Pakistani students at 23 leading universities in the Kingdom.


British Airways to resume Pakistan flights next week after a decade

Updated 23 May 2019
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British Airways to resume Pakistan flights next week after a decade

  • BA halted service to Pakistan in the wake of the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad
  • BA will begin the London Heathrow-Islamabad service with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

ISLAMABAD: British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan next week a decade after it suspended operations following a major hotel bombing, becoming the first Western airline to restart flights to the South Asian country.

BA halted service to Pakistan in the wake of the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in the capital Islamabad that took place during a period of devastating Islamist militant violence in Pakistan.

Security has since improved, with militant attacks sharply down in the mainly Muslim country of 208 million people, reviving Pakistan as a destination for tourist and investors.

“The final touches are coming together for the airline’s return ahead of the first flight on Sunday June 2,” British Airways said in a statement. It will launch a three-per-week service to London Heathrow, it said.

“We’re on board,” Pakistani Civil Aviation spokeswoman Farah Hussain said about the flights resumption.

BA, which is owned by Spanish-registered IAG, will begin the London Heathrow-Islamabad service with the airline’s newest long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

At present, only loss-making national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flies directly from Pakistan to Britain, but its ageing fleet of planes is a frequent source of complaints by passengers.

Middle Eastern carriers Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates have a strong presence in Pakistan and have been eating into PIA’s dwindling market share. Turkish Airlines also lays on a regular service to Pakistan.

Islamabad has been running international advertising campaigns to rejuvenate its tourism sector, which was wiped out by Islamist violence that destabilised the country following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

“We hope customers in both the UK and Pakistan will enjoy the classically British service we offer, with thoughtful bespoke touches,” Andrew Brem, Chief Commercial Officer at British Airways, said in BA’s statement.

BA said there will be a halal meal option in every cabin and the airline would also ensure sauces in every meal do not contain alcohol or pork.