KARACHI: President, Republic of Mauritius, Dr. Bibi Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim on Tuesday underlined the need for increasing collaboration between her country and Pakistan in trade, tourism, education, health and research fields.
During her visit to Hussain Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ) Institute of Chemistry at University of Karachi, the President of Mauritius praised the quality of Pakistani educational institutes especially HEJ Institute.
In a dialogue with the faculty members and students at HEJ Institute’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), she said there was big potential to enhance bilateral trade.
Pakistan could get access to African region through Mauritius and the latter could reach Central Asia via Pakistan. This would help boost two economies to the benefit of both the nations.
She said the Mauritius government had focused on research and increasing knowledge base of the people.
She regretted that less investment was being made in research in the world in general.
Since its independence 1968, Mauritius is a knowledge-based economy, she informed adding that the talented individuals were the real wealth of a country.
Dr. Gurib-Fakim has done Ph.D in chemistry from United Kingdom and written 26 books of international repute besides many papers on chemistry. She had won many national and international awards.
Mauritius President said in 2001, she had joined as a Professor in a university in Mauritius and then became Vice Chancellor before being picked up as Head of the State in recognition of her research work and other educational services.
She acknowledged the research work of HEJ Institute of Chemistry and said it was her second visit to it over last three years.
“I am a part of HEJ family,” she remarked.
She emphasized on promotion of herbal medicine describing it very effective and very much affordable source of treatment.
“Where limit of allopathy ends, plant medicine work starts,” she contended.
Dr. Gurib-Fakim said that she was going to sign memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with HEJ Institute of Chemistry and Greenwich University on joint research and study programmes.
She said that Mauritius, being a small island, had a big challenge of climatic changes. The nation confronted to floods and cyclones over last some years. However, she said, the government had taken many short and long-term preventive steps.
She informed that in June 2016, first International Women Conference on Climatic and Agriculture was being held in Mauritius.
Mauritius President said that she was a Muslim by birth and by practices. She was the first Muslim Woman Scientist President of a country.
Muslims are a minority in Mauritius but she was chosen for the presidential post in recognition of her research work and services to the nation, she said.
“I accepted the post with condition, I shall continue my research work along with the responsibilities as the President,” she said.
High Commissioner of Mauritius in Islamabad, Yousuf Illahi and Honorary Consul General Sohail Yasin were prominent in her delegation, which included business representatives of Mauritius.
Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, former federal minister for science and technology, and Patron-in-Chief of International Centre for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS) of HEJ Institute engaged with her in a dialogue on various important scientific and economic issues facing both the countries.
The traditional gift of Ajrak (Sindhi Chadar) was given to her and other delegates. APP