As part of its public diplomacy efforts, Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started “Agha Shahi Lecture Series” which is aimed at enlightening its officers on current topical issues relevant to the domain of foreign policy. Renowned scholars, academicians, former diplomats and other experts are invited to share their perspectives. These lectures are also posted on the website of the Ministry.
As a part of Agha Shahi Lecture Series-2015, Abdul Basit, Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, RSIS, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore was invited to give a talk on “ ISIS growing influence in South Asia and regional implications” on 18th February 2015. Besides officers of the Ministry, many former diplomats and representatives of various think tanks attended the lecture. Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz also graced the occasion.
In May 2015 a commemorative event took place to mark the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, in collaboration with the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology while two weeks later in June, the Division conducted the screening of the documentary “Beyond the Heights” depicting the momentous achievement of Ms. Samina Baig, the first female from Pakistan to climb Mount Everest, along with interaction with the mountaineer.
Continuing with the series, on 10th August 2015, Federal Secretary Seerat Ashar (MNFS&R) gave a thorough and comprehensive lecture on the Agriculture Potential in Pakistan. Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, and all officers of the Ministry were present for the informative talk and interactive question & answer session.
On 16 September 2015, Director General Military Operations, Major General Aamir Riaz, delivered a lecture on the efforts of our dedicated troops in Operation “Zarb-e-Azab” and Pakistan Border Security Issues for all officers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and Secretary, Foreign Affairs, Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry also graced the occasion.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a talk by the renowned scholar and expert on South Asia, Dr. Christopher Snedden, on 01 March 2016. Currently working as a Professor specializing in South Asian studies at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Dr. Snedden in his 2001 PhD thesis on the Kashmir Dispute, argued that the diverse and disparate peoples of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir instigated the Kashmir dispute in 1947—and not Pukhtoons from Pakistan, as India has claimed. He has authored two important books on Kashmir, “The Untold Story of the People of Azad Kashmir” written in 2012 and the more recent “Understanding Kashmir and Kashmirs” in 2015. Therefore, as an expert on the South Asian region, he delivered a comprehensive and engaging presentation on the Kashmir Dispute to all officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The talk was followed by a candid question and answer session. The Foreign Secretary Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, thanked Dr. Snedden for his lecture and remarked that the people of Pakistan have a deep attachment to Kashmir and do not consider it a mere territorial dispute. He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to resolving the issue. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi also graced the occasion and appreciated the Professor for his neutral and objective approach to the topic. As a token of appreciation, the Special Assistant presented a book and a Sufi Music CD published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the guest speaker on behalf of the Ministry.