The driving force behind Pakistan’srecent effort to build scientific andtechnological capacity is Atta-ur- Rahman, who currently serves as Fed-eral Minister and Chairman of the Higher Education Commission and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Sci-ence and Technology. Atta-ur-Rahman, who is also a TWAS Fellow (1985) and the Academy’s Vice-President for Cen-tral and South Asia, organized a two-hour high-profile symposium at the TWAS 18th General Meeting held inTrieste, Italy, in November. The symposium, which exam-ined current trends and future directions in science andtechnology in Pakistan, featured a series of presentationsby prominent Pakistani scientists. It also included an open-ing talk by Atta-ur-Rahman, in which he explored the prin-ciples and programmes that are shaping Pakistan’s nation-wide campaign to build a strong foun-dation for scientific and technologicalcapacity. Atta-ur-Rahman highlightedthe success that the campaign has beenachieved to date. The following articleis based on his presentation.
ducation, science and technology are the greatdivides in today’s world. Differences in scientificand technological capabilities help to explain why richcountries are rich and poor countries are poor. But thesesame factors are also the great equalizers. Scientificand technological capabilities, in fact, can also serve as vital instruments for overcoming poverty, hunger, dis-ease and other debilitating social and economic ills thatoften incite conflict and violence both within nationsand beyond national borders.
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AMID ALL OF THE UNCERTAINTY, TURMOIL AND VIOLENCE THAT HAS GRIPPED PAKISTAN OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, ONE POSITIVETREND HAS EMERGED: THE NATION HAS DRAMATICALLY INCREASEDITS INVESTMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.