Vice Chancellor - Prof. Dr. Hassan Amir Shah, Sitara-i-Imtiaz

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Centre of Excellence China Studies



People’s Republic of China has gained a strategic position in the changing global scenario. Pak-China friendship has been time-tested and has gained great strength over time. Under the leadership of the Chief Minister, the Punjab Government of late, has had intensive inter-action both with the Chinese Government as well as the Chinese private sector companies and organizations. This close interaction necessitates learning of Chinese Language by the Provincial Government Personnel, the businessmen of Punjab, the Youth and People at large.

In close coordination with the Higher Education Department, the Department of Political Science, GCU, Lahore has established a Centre of Excellence for China Studies, covering a wide range of subjects of interest and intensive research to increase awareness about Chinese Language, socio-cultural, economic, and political system; promote bilateral relations, and most importantly provide strategic guidance in pursuit of common objectives both regionally as well as internationally. The Chinese language component would serve the purpose of compliance of the Chief Minister’s directions. It would maintain a research database on Chinese studies and publish research journal and policy briefs exclusively dedicated to China.

academic programmes

The details of the proposed academic programs to be offered by this Centre of China Studies are as follows:

Chinese Language Certificate


It is a four months programme (One semester with 15 credit hours) and offers and opportunity to learn to read, write, and speak Chinese Language.


Diploma in China Studies


It would be one year programme with two semesters and 18 credit hours. In each semester, it would offer the following 06 courses:

  • Chinese Language

  • Political System of China

  • Socio-Cultural Studies of China

  • Regional Development & Role of China

  • Salient feature of Chinese Economy

  • China in World Politics


Postgraduate Programs (Masters, M.Phil/ MS & Ph.D)


The ultimate objective of the Centre is to enhance its level to postgraduate studies and would introduce Masters, M.Phil / MS. Ph.D degree programs in China Studies. To work purposefully on it, faculty exchange program will be undertaker to train the teachers.






Gilgit Baltistan Cultural Evening at GCU


From Shina Mili Nagma to the traditional Shepherd and Talwar dances; the Government College University Lahore has brought the culture and music of Gilgit Baltistan to Lahore. Eminent artists of the region including Ustad Jabir Khan Jabir and Ustad Mir Afzal performed at the ‘Gilgit Baltistan Cultural and Musical Evening” organised by the university’s Center of Excellence China Studies (CECS) and Gilgit Arts and Cultural Council at GCU. The cultural evening, began with the Hunza Hareep, a traditional music performance by Ustad Fida Hussain and his musicians, was also marked by a stunning Sitar and dance performances besides a traditional Burshiski song presented by Talib Hussain Talib.


Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said that GCU had always strived to integrate academic excellence with social and cultural programs, aiming and promoting diversity, tolerance and co-existence. He said in light of regional developments like China Pakistan Economic Corridor, it had become imperative to highlight and promote a rich and beautiful culture of Gilgit Baltistan hidden behind those lofty mountains of northern areas. Prof Shah said terrorists wanted to spread fear but they would fail to deter Pakistan from its journey enlightenment and development. He directed the academic departments to also hold Sindhi, Punjabi and Baloch cultural evenings to apprise the students about the culture and traditions of all regions of the country.


In his opening speech, GCU CECS Director Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt said that Gilgit Baltistan was also known as ‘bam’e jahan’ which translates to “the rooftop of the world”. However, he said, that the region was strategically located in middle of one of the highly nuclearized South Asian region. He said that the region was the host to so many languages including Shina, Brushiski, Khuwaar and Balti. Prof Butt said Shina was lingua franca of Gilgit–Baltistan, adding that this language without written script and alphabets had survived the onslaughts of globalization and capitalism. He said the folklores, music and oral training of the language had kept it alive from centuries. Appreciating the performances by artists, the CESE director said these artists had played a very vital role in bringing people together especially when the region was in the deep dark dungeons of sectarian violence. A large number of other artists from Giligit Baltistan including Numberdar Hussain Ali, Imtiaz Hussain Shehkay and Imtiaz Ahmad also performed at the music evening.





Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan performs for foreign delegates at GCU


Sitar player Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan, the inheritor of a grand tradition of Ustad Sharif Khan Ponchwala, has performed at the cultural evening organized by the Government College University (GCU) Lahore in the honor of foreign delegates who have participated in the university’s three day international conference on “Inter-regional Connectivity: South Asia and East Asia”.  The conference was organized by the university’s Political Science Department in collaboration with both provincial and federal higher education commissions. Eminent singer and Old Ravian, Shafqat Ammant Ali Khan, was the chief guest at the culture evening which also marked by the folk dance and music performances by the students of Nazir Ahmed Music Society (GCU-NAMS).   


Besides playing some of most popular raags like darbari, jaijaiwanti and bahiraveen, Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan also performed a fusion with German rhythmist Victor Marvin, a virtuoso on electronic music instruments. The fusion and Sitar performance met with loud applause especially by the Chinese delegation who says Sitar resonates with their traditional Chinese music played by Chinese Zither or Chinese Guzheng.


“Music connects people; it’s very important for the connectivity, even if it’s economic, that we understand the culture, traditions and values of each other,” said Prof Xie from China University of Geosciences, Wuhan. She Said, “It’s not just roads, pipelines or railways; we need to connect the people through the Pakistan China Economic Corridor (CPEC).   


Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt said that sitar is very difficult instrument to play and very few people could attain the level achieved by Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan who is regarded among the finest sitar instrumentalists of his generation. 


Addressing the foreign delegates, Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan said that he always tries to use the music and the instrument to capture the feeling locked in his heart and to convey them to the audience and his fans. He said that it is a matter of great pride for him to perform at the historical and prestigious institution like GC University Lahore. Shafqat Ammant Ali Khan also paid glowing tribute to Ustad Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan for his contributions to the classical music. He hoped that Ustad Sharif Khan, though settled in Germany, would visit Pakistan more and more and patronage the classical music in the country. Inam Ullah Khan, the son of legendary singer Ustad Hamid Ali Khan also performed at the cultural evening attended by more than 41 foreign delegates beside national scholars and organizers of the conference. 


Later, the foreign delegates also joined the students in their folk dance performances. 




Concluding session: Broader perspective on connectivity is key, says Saad


Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has said that connectivity is a cornerstone of regional economic cooperation and integration, and it should become a top priority for Pakistan and other countries of region including China, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Turkey and the Central Asian Republics, especially in the context of efforts to find new drives of regional economic growth. He was addressing the concluding session of three-day international conference on “Inter-regional Connectivity: South Asia and Central Asia.” The delegates from 18 countries attended the closing session of conference chaired by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah.  


“A boarder perspective on connectivity is the key. This kind of connectivity should not be considered sector by sector but rather as a part of integrated networks of industrial zones, trade, rail, roads, energy, culture, people and technology,” said the minister . He believed that the up-gradation of Pakistan Railways existing network and its connectivity to the railways of the region would usher in a new era of development and prosperity for Pakistan and other countries of the region through trans-border movement of trains within next 10 to 15 years by capitalizing on the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) which is a partnership of ten countries working together to promote development cooperation leading accelerated growth besides envisioning implementation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor. He Said, “We must also acknowledge that geostrategic location of Pakistan provides numerous opportunities for regional cooperation as it is situated at the crossroad of Central Asia, South Asia and Middle Eastern regions,”.


Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique gives away shields to the researchers participating in the int'l conference


Talking about the PR development plans in context of inter-regional connectivity, the minister they had prepared a master plan to upgrade railways three main arteries, Main Line One (ML-1) from Karachi to Torkham, ML-2 from Kotri to Attock City, and ML-3 Rori-Quetta–Taftan Section with its extension to Dera Ismail Khan via Western corridor through Bostan. The framework agreement is being signed with Chinese government for providing funding of $5.7 billion for up-gradation of Lahore-Karachi segment of ML-1, while an understanding has been reached with the Asian Development Bank for providing financial support amounting $2.5 Billion for up-gradation of Peshawar-Lahore section. With this up gradation, the speed of passenger train would be upgraded to 160 KPH which is currently at 105 Kph.  He said, the feasibility studies of ML-2 from Hyderabad-Attack, ML-3 and Quetta-Gwadar, Abbottabad and Peshawar-Jalalabad railings had been awarded to renowned consultants. The vision of the present government is to accomplish uninterrupted movement of goods and people from Pakistan to Europe via Iran and Turkey. The railings from Chaman to Spin Buldak, Khardar and onwards connecting Turkmenistan are also under active consultation.


The minister said that the government would ensure Gwadar deep-sea port is used to full potential for transportation of goods to Afghanistan and landlocked Central Asian Republics. Similarly, he said, connectivity of Gwadar port with Khunjerab via ML-2 and Western Corridor via D.I Khan will provide the shortest access to Chinese goods to warm-waters reducing the transportation distance 1600 KMs. This project is already part of Phase-II of CPEC.


Addressing the ceremony, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said both Pakistan and Central Asia need to be brought out of their isolation. He hoped that the two days of extensive deliberations among the delegates of 18 countries would contribute to make effective recommendations to the government and give food of thought to the researchers.


In his concluding speech, Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, the conference chairman, said that in academic sessions of the conference, deliberations have outlined diverse perspectives on Inter-regional connectivity between South and Central Asia. The participants have highlighted multiple prospects and challenges in the way of economic, political, strategic, and social linkages among the countries of the two regions. They have also identified hurdles among these are historical rivalries, political inertia, cultural differences, and the lack of investment in cross-border infrastructure.  A number of very useful mechanisms to promote regional connectivity were also suggested by the participants and it could be food of thought for policy makers and decision makers. He believed that CPEC get the center stage and will becomes the on-rolling economic cooperation between Pakistan, China, and other regional countries and is arguably the biggest ever collaborative effort in this regard. It is rightly said as game-changer and tool of transformational change in the economic profile of the entire region. For maximum dividends, we should adopt inclusive approach regarding CPEC to make it a hub of economic activity for countries of South Asia and Central Asia, he said. The conference chairman suggested the policy-makers to reform laws, include other regional stakeholders, and also involve private sector in the promotion of connectivity and development. It would certainly minimize opposition of CPEC and make it a productive and progressive project. “I see that CPEC should serve the interests of the people of this region. All the regional countries stand to reap a substantial peace dividend if they can lower mistrust for a better future of this part of Asia,” he concluded.





Policy Dialogue (Second Day of Intl. Conference on Inter-Regional Connectivity)


Speakers at the policy dialogue on second day of the international conference on “Inter-Regional Connectivity: South Asia and Central Asia” have evolved a consensus that enhancing people-to-people contact and institutional collaborations especially among the universities of Asian states was the best way forward to the much-needed inter-regional as well as intra-regional connectivity.


The policy dialogue was chaired by GCU Dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Prof Dr Tahir Kamran, while Ching Chang from Society for Strategic Studies China, Dr Sinderpal Singh from Nanyang Technological University Singapore, Mr Jonathan Fulton from Zayed University, UAE, Dr Bilveer Singh, Dr Martin Hribek, Dr Sinderpal Singh and Mr Ajith Balasooriya and a large number other foreign delegates from nine different countries were also present.

The participants of conference pose for a photo with the

conference chairman, Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt


The speakers strongly recommended to the policymakers of South Asia and Central Asia states that benefits of geo-economics are immense so  economic affairs should take precedence over bilateral disputes between the states, and a permanent think-tank is established where academicians and researchers could debate on the emerging issues of inter-regional connectivity. The speakers also discussed the need for redefining the whole idea of conventional sovereignty and also explored the social, political and dimensions of interregional connectivity.

Prof Dr Tahir Kamran said that there was a need for effective and joint measures by the states to counter ethnic hostilities and religious extremism which figure strongly in the limited progress on inter regional connectivity till date.


The conference chairman, Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, said that there was a strong realization among the Central Asian and South Asian states for inter-regional economic cooperation, and for the realization of this goal, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could be effectively exploited to create an integrative line between Pakistan and Central Asian states particularly Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan via Afghanistan to engage and involve these republics into this profit seeking venture to create an environment for the comprehensive, sustainable and uniform progress for peace and stability of the whole region.  


Mr Ching Chgang said that South Asia itself contains serious strategic unbalance. “India deeply suspects China’s plan of ‘One Belt One Road’ and refuses to cooperate even in literal or oral way. The main reason is not because India still memorizes the pain caused by 1962 war, but also strongly related to the ‘unbalance status quo’ created by India which would be bound to be destroyed by China’s plan,” he said.


Dr Sinderpal Singh said that sovereignty and the integrity of territorial borders have been core concerns for the post- colonial states since their inception as independent nation states. Earlier, as many 32 research papers were presented at the three technical sessions of the conference. 





Inter-Regional Connectivity: South Asia and Central Asia


Eminent writer and foreign policy expert Mr Ahmed Rashid addressing the international conference on “Inter-Regional Connectivity: South Asia and Central Asia” at the Government College University Lahore has said that the rapidly growing economies of leading Asian countries have created strong imperatives for inter-regional as well as intra-regional connectivity but Afghanistan war and bilateral disputes among states are among the major hurdles in the much needed process.


“Even intra-regional connectivity within South Asia and Central Asia does not exist,” said Mr Rashid in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conference which was chaired by Punjab Minister for Higher Education Begum Zakia Shahnawaz.


As many as 25 foreign experts from Russia, China, India, Nepal, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, UK, Singapore, Italy, Germany, Sri Lanka, Thailand Singapore and USA are participating in the highly crucial conference and would debate on geopolitics of corridors: building economic and political linkages, energy security, sociocultural connectivity and peace and security-centric cooperation during the six technical sessions of the conference. The conference was organised by the university’s Political Science Department in collaboration with the both provincial and federal high education commissions.



Mr Ahmed Rashid briefed the participants in detail about economic strengthens, domestic political situations and foreign policies of major Central Asian and South Asian states. He said that China who was major player in this Great Game of inter-regional and intra-regional connectivity must make efforts in ending conflicts between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Pakistan and India.  


The other speakers at the conference said that increase in trade and enhanced connectivity would make regional countries a stakeholder in peace and stability while easing the energy constraint for economic growth. They believed that this will reduce the levels of conflict and the regions would witness trade, tourism and energy flow across national borders and would help in healing wounds that have been bleeding for decades”. The speakers said that major initiatives towards Inter-Regional Connectivity included opening of borders, building logistic infrastructure, extending land access and entering currency swap and free trade agreements. “These initiatives would reduce poverty and enhance living standards of the people,” they said.


Punjab Minister for Higher Education Begum Zakia Shahnawaz hoped that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would prove to be the much-needed economic lifeline of the whole region. She asked the scholars to contribute in the formulation of conceptual as well as methodological framework for economic cooperation.   


Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah Vice Chancellor said that that the conference had immense potential to generate ideas and concepts that could pave the way for academic excellence, human development regional peace and cooperation. “We expect the scholars to bring forth new trends of regionalism in Asia keeping in view the indigenous realities and demands beyond the conventional parameters of regional study, and contribute in the formulation of a theoretical framework for further research,” he said.


Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, the conference chairman, said the connectivity deficit was pushing the South Asia back in the volley of the world regions. “A common vision needs to be developed within the regional matrix because the diversity in these regions can be harnessed into the collective synergy for the prosperous future of the regions”. He said that after the disintegration of Soviet Union, the central Asian energy rich states had got an opportunity to stretch themselves to South Asia for economic gains and to find a shortest access to Indian Ocean for trade and commerce. This is the time that the countries of South Asia and Central Asia should resolve their bilateral issues and develop a mechanism for cooperation and understanding. He said that geographic linkages would bring political and economic developments which can also address the regional problems like poverty, illiteracy, extremism and intolerance in the region.


Addressing the first technical session of the conference on geopolitics, Middle East Institute, Washington Centre for Pakistan Studies Director Prof. Marvin G. Weinbaum said that reconciliation in South Asia was the prerequisite for Inter-Regional Connectivity, adding that competing domestic policies and poor security conditions within these countries needed also to be addressed. “Standing at the interregional crossroads, Pakistan and Afghanistan are pivotal to realising the opportunities provided by stronger connectivity, but their mutual distrust and absorption with their mutual conflicts figure strongly in the limited progress till date,” he said. He feared that without changes, South Asia, with its presently weekly integrated economies and often adversarial political relations, stood to be left far behind Russia, China and Turkey and other external powers in a new Great Game for Central Asian resources and markets.




International conference on Inter-Regional Connectivity


The Government College University Lahore is holding a three-day international conference on “Inter-Regional Connectivity: South Asia and Central Asia” this week to discuss the vitality of inter-regional connectivity and further explore avenues of mutual cooperation.


As many as 25 foreign experts from Russia, China, Nepal, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, UK, Singapore, Italy, Germany, Singapore and USA are participating in the highly crucial conference and would debate on geopolitics of corridors: building economic and political linkages, energy security, sociocultural connectivity and peace and security-centric cooperation among the South Asian and Central Asian states. About 72 research papers would be presented at the six technical sessions of the conference that would begin from Wednesday, Nov 09 and last till Friday, Nov 11, while the formal and informal panel discussions on the themes of the conference have started on Tuesday.


Addressing a pre-conference media briefing, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said that the Post-Soviet Central Asia was once again ready to revive historical legacy, wherein focus was on building of politico-economic linkages, and strengthening of cultural ties. Moreover, he said, it was equally imperative today to launch joint adventures to quell the rise of terrorism, militancy, and religious extremism for sustainable peace and development in the ‘heart of Asia’. He said that geographical proximity, historical affinities and socio-cultural propinquities were signification means to engulf the bridge of connectivity. However, he said that new framework of inter-regional connectivity was a ‘win-win situation” for both regions.          


The conference chairman, Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, stated the phenomena of interregional connectivity in Asia was the need of time and a way forward for South and Central Asian states, wherein they could gain more through cooperative interplay. He said the university’s conference encompassed within its purview new trends of regionalism and regionalization in connection with the indigenous demands and realities of ‘sisterly regions’ i.e. South Asia and Central Asia. Prof Butt said that this academic endeavour would also discuss regional dynamics beyond the conventional parameters of regional study and to contribute in formulation of a theoretical as well as methodological framework that must be synchronised with Asian milieu.


The conference is jointly organised by the university’s Political Science Department and Centre of Excellence, China Studies in collaboration with the both federal and provincial higher education commissions. 




Chinese students study Pakistan affairs at GCU   


A students’ delegation of China University of Geosciences (CUG) Wuhan has arrived at the Government College University Lahore (GCU) on a two-week study tour, said a press statement issued here on Tuesday. The delegation comprising of ten postgraduate and undergraduate students was warmly received by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah and GCU Center of Excellence China Studies Director Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt on the university campus. The Chinese students, led by Prof Dr Xie would attend a two week short course at the university’s Political Science Department on Pakistan studies. “The course is especially designed for these Chinese students to apprise them about the history and culture of Pakistan, and our strong friendship with China,” said Prof Butt. The delegation will also tour the historical places in Lahore besides attending various cultural activities. Prof Butt said that the delegation was part of an exchange programme and memorandum of understanding signed last year between GCU and CUG. He said that five GCU students would visit China for research this year. Vice Chancellor Prof Shah said that the university would provide maximum facilities to the Chinese students. . The VC urged the GCU students to benefit from the presence of Chinese students on campus. He said engagement with Chinese students could help GCU students learn about Chinese culture and language. 




65th Anniversary of Pak-China Diplomatic Relations


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) needs to be protected against the international conspiracies. And once it becomes fully operational by connecting all the economies of the region, even the most hostile country, India would ultimately have to join in for the greater economic dividends. It was stated by eminent diplomats and academicians while addressing a seminar organized by the Government College University Lahore Center for Excellence, China Studies (GCU-CECS) to commemorate the "65th Anniversary of Pak-China Diplomatic Relations" 


If India, a country of more than 1.25 billion people, doesn’t change its hostile policy against Pakistan, it would surely become an ‘outsider’ in the region,” said the former ambassador of Pakistan to United States and European Union, Shuakat Umer. However, he believed that after the successes of CPEC, India would certainly come on a negotiations table with Pakistan with a fairer and peaceful resolve of all the disputes.


Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah addresses a seminar to commemorate the "65th Anniversary of Pak-China Diplomatic Relations" Former foreign secretary Mr Shamshad Ahmad addresses a seminar to commemorate the "65th Anniversary of Pak-China Diplomatic Relations". Key Speakers of Seminar pose for a photo with

GCU Vice Chancellor at seminar to commemorate the

"65th Anniversary of Pak-China Diplomatic Relations".


Speaking on the occasion, Yu Boren, the Consul General of China in Lahore, said that CPEC was a long-term and systematic process instead of a project or series of projects only. He said China would work with Pakistan to complete projects under construction and also make long-term plans to ensure that the building of the corridor continues to deliver new achievements in the contents of connectivity, industrial cooperation and people-to-people exchange. He said that China would transit its industrial capacity to Pakistan in order promote industrialization there which is still at very early stage. He said that the construction of CPEC will combine China’s advanced technology, management experience and financial support with Pakistan’s natural and human resource, so as to achieve common development and prosperity through complementary advantages.


Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Prof Dr Nizam-ud-Din and Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah stressed the need for strong academic and research collaboration among the universities of China and Pakistan for technology transfer, which, they said, should be an integral part of CPEC for the real economic benefits. They appreciated the Punjab government’s initiative of sending 500 students to China for higher studies.


Prof Shah expressed gratitude to Punjab Chief Minister’s for choosing GCU, his alma mater, for hosting the concluding ceremony of celebrations in connection with the "65th Anniversary of Pak-China Diplomatic Relations". Deeper than the sea, higher than Himalayas and sweeter than honey is not just a rhetorical statement or a declamatory flourish rather, eminent military analyst Prof Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi said, Pakistan-China friendship is one of the biggest realities of international relations because it is based on the principle of mutual interests. Our interests are the same, he asserted.


 Consul General of China in Lahore, Vice Chancellor GCU and other speakers address to a seminar organised by GC University Lahore

Center for Excellence, China Studies (GCU CECS) to commemorate the "65th Anniversary of Pak-China Diplomatic Relations"

Former foreign secretary Mr Shamshad Ahmed said that most unique feature of this inter-state friendship, between two ideologically different rather opposite countries, is that it has survived several political and economic changes in both the countries. Islamic Republic of Pakistan is founded in the name of religion, while Peoples Republic of China is intensely secular, while their economic and political systems are also different, he said. The former diplomats believed that the word corridor misrepresents the remarkable China Pakistan Economic and Strategic cooperation, so must be changed. “Corridor denotes juts a geographical passage while CPEC is far more consequential and will open new vistas peace and prosperity in the region, he said. They also highlighted that CPEC had great strategic dividends for China as it would ensure its energy security by providing an alternative, rather short and more secure, route for its mega oil imports.  

CECS Director Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt revealed that the Chinese Consulate Lahore was deputing two teachers at GCU for teaching Pakistan students Chinese language and culture. He said that the Consulate had already provided the university’s China Studies Center books and computers.  He appreciated the steps taken by the chief minister for bridging the language and cultural barriers between the people of China and Pakistan.


Commissioner Lahore Abdullah Sumbal said that the Punjab government’s five day grand celebrations in connection with 65th Anniversary of Pak-China Diplomatic Relations had concluded with this prestigious seminar at GCU. Later, Yu Boren and Prof Dr Nizam unveiled the proceedings of recently-held CPEC conference at GCU CECS.




Networking the Pak-China Universities


Universities are the China-Pakistan Social, Cultural and Technology Corridor, i.e. the mother corridor, and only their efficacious networking would guarantee the real success and super economic benefits from the economic corridor, said Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah, the Vice Chancellor of Government College University Lahore, and Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, the Director of GCU Centre of Excellence, China Studies (CESC), while addressing a meeting with a delegation from China University of Geosciences (CUG).


The delegation comprised of CUG Vice President Prof Fang Hao, Silk Road Institute Executive Dean Dr Changqian Ma, International Students Office Director Dr Jiang Yuan and Dr Xiaoqing Xie, a Chinese expert on Pakistan Affairs, Monday arrived in Pakistan on the invitation of the GCU-CECS to explore possibilities for social, cultural and academic linkages with the local universities.


Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Shah hoped that CUG and GCU would jointly establish a strong foundation for the academic networking of Pakistan-China universities which, besides the technology transfer and innovation, was also mandatory for social and cultural integration of the people of Pakistan and China. He said GCU-CECS was facilitating CUG in networking with universities of Punjab and Baluchistan, while the CUG would also help linking their Centre of Excellence, China Studies with top ranked Chinese universities.


“This CUG-GCU relationship will no doubt act as server to the highly desired network of Pak-China universities,” said CECS Director Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, adding that CUG was ranked among the top seven universities of China and like GCU it also held very strong traditions of producing eminent alumni in the fields of science, literature and politics. Dr Butt revealed that GCU-CUG had also agreed to jointly hold conferences and seminars, both in China and Pakistan in various disciplines, for the social and academic networking of the top researchers and academicians of both countries.


Prof Shah and Dr Butt highlighted that Punjab Chief Minister had established Centre of Excellence, China Studies for not only teaching the Pakistani students’ Chinese culture and language, but also with an intention to bring closer the reputed academic institutions of both brotherly countries. However, they said that a lot of further investment was also needed to put in by the government on this mother corridor.

CUG Vice President Prof Fang Hao said that Pakistan and China were iron brothers and the people of both counties had always filled the cultural and language gaps with strong feelings of love and respect which they had for each other. However, he said that a strong social and cultural integration of people of both countries with each other didn’t now look to be a distant dream, but for it, they, the academicians, had to play a very effective role.


Later, the meeting also explored the possibilities of joint research projects in the subjects of Geography, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Computer Sciences. The delegation would stay in Pakistan for the next four day and sign accords with the reputed universities of Pakistan under the auspices of GCU CECS. 



Pakistan be prepared for CPEC ‘super-economic’ benefits

An international conference on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has concluded at the Government College University Lahore with very a crucial policy dialogue among the eminent academicians and intellectuals from China, United States, Belgium and Pakistan on the multibillion dollar project.

Eminent historian Prof Dr Tahir Kamran chaired the three-hour long policy dialogue in the university’s Syndicate Committee Room where the speakers stressed utmost transparency, strict monitoring and merit based appointments in the CPEC projects. They believed that CPEC was a golden opportunity, but Pakistan had to develop a favorable ecosystem to ripe super economic benefits from it.  

NUST Rector General (r) Engineer Asghar Khan, eminent lawyer Mr Anwar Kamal, XIHUA University, China Vice President Dr Li Jian, Dr. Xiaoqing Xie, Dr Hauan Delin, GCU Centre of Excellence China Studies Director Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt and other eminent paper presenters participated and policy dialogue, and outlined 14 recommendations/areas which needs the attention of the government and its policy makers along with the top-priority infrastructural development.

The academicians said the government must chalk out and implement a comprehensive plan to prepare its labor and vendor industry to absorb the CPEC related investment. They said Chinese Language should be promoted and people-to-people contacts must be enhanced as it was not only vital for cultural and social harmony, rather it would make a significant impact on economic benefits from the project. The policy dialogue resolution also reads that in energy sector, hydro power projects must be preferred on thermal projects, and visa policy between the two countries must be relaxed to enhance people to people contact.  

The speakers also said the scope of CPEC should be inclusive in relation to all domestic and regional actors which would multiply the economic benefits from the project and play a vital in strengthening ties between the South Asian and Central Asian countries. The government should give appropriate share to private sector in CPEC project. It is also stated in the resolution that political consensus must be achieved among all the provinces in relation development projects of CPEC. Educational and research links must be established between the universities of the two countries for the development of knowledge-based economy in Pakistan. And, also think tanks must be established in the country’s educational institutions. The academicians said security and law and order situation must also be improved for the success of CPEC. Dr Khalid Maznoor Butt, the conference chairman, said that comprehensive proceedings of the conference would be published shortly for the greater benefit of the country from the huge academic exercise in which 20 experts from China had also participated.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said that the conference played vital role in connecting GCU with the top universities of China and its academicians. He also appreciated the efforts of Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt and management committee of the conference for making the international event a success. Prof Shah said that GCU wanted to place permanent Chinese faculty at its Center for Excellence, China Studies for which they had requested the government and Higher Education Commission for its financial support.  




Political stability must for economic uplift: Ahsan Iqbal


Political stability and social solidarity are the guarantees to the economic development of the country, said federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal while addressing the international conference on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at the Government College University Lahore.


The federal minister said success does not come in charity, it has to be manufactured and we have to work harder, better and smarter to covert the opportunity provided to us by our Chinese friends into success and any kind of instability could harm CPEC. He said western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project connecting Gwadar to Peshawar would be completed by the end of next year and would open new vistas of economic development in the region. Ahsan Iqbal said that the PML-N government made not a single centimeter change in the original route of the CPEC and all propaganda in this respect was baseless. Ahsan Iqbal said that there are four basic elements of the CPEC; first is development of Gwadar which involves construction of airport, up-gradation of port and 19-km express that connects Gwadar to other main routes, second and most important is energy, third is infrastructure development and fourth is industrialization.  


Sharing his golden memories of studying at the Government College Lahore, he told the students that “Where you are sitting, I was there yesterday but that yesterday was about 40 years ago. “Time passes like a flash, so prepare yourselves for the challenges of the future,” he asked the youth. He said that future is not geopolitical, rather it is geo-economics. He said that government was investing in infrastructure development because it would generate economic activity in the highly ignored and underdeveloped regions of the country.


Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal gives away shields to

the Chinese experts participating in the international conference

on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at GCU. 


Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said that 50 papers were presented on seven themes at the two day conference and proceedings would be published shorty and forwarded to the policy makers for the future planning. CECS Director Dr Khalid Maznoor Butt said that Chinese academicians had very actively participated in the conference which helped us in understanding their prospective about the CPEC, which was quite similar to Pakistan. However, he said, that their approach was very practical and comprehensive. They go for long term and sustainable projects which is the key to their success, he added. 


Earlier, presenting a paper Indian attitude towards CPEC and China’s counter measures, Dr Lan Jiang, the Deputy Director of Pakistan Study Center, China West Normal University, said that the views of Indian media about the mega project are not rational and mainly focus on its harm to Indian national interests due the economic uplift of Pakistan. However, he said CPEC had to win the support of neighboring countries for a greater success. Xihau University, China Deputy President Prof Lia Jian said that CPEC was the biggest overseas investment by China and it long-range prospect is making Pakistan become richer and stranger than ever before. 




Chinese attached no conditions to CPEC: Shahbaz Sharif


Chinese attached no conditions to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which reflects the sincerity and depth of relations between the two countries, said Punjab Chief Minister Main Shahbaz Sharif while addressing the inauguration of an international conference on the multibillion dollar project at the Government College University Lahore. Besides, experts from United States, Belgium and United Kingdom, as many as 20 Chinese academicians are also participating in the two-day conference which is organised by the GCU Center for Excellence in China Studies (CECS) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission to explore economic, political, strategic, cultural and social dimensions of the CPEC.


Addressing the conference, the chief minister said out of $46 billion investment by China, $36 billion is in energy sector and if everything goes well, 5000 to 6000MW would be added to the national grid by 2017-18. The chief minister also announced sending 300 top merited students to China for studies and learning Chinese language, saying that the Punjab government would invest about Rs 600 million on these students. He also hinted at separating the school and higher education ministries in Punjab. Shahbaz Sharif also shared his golden memories of student life at the Government College Lahore and also said that “today I am standing in my alma mater, so I will talk beyond politics and beyond my likes and dislikes as a proud Pakistani and proud Ravian.” He said that there was a huge potential for hydro power projects in Pakistan, but unfortunately, all the political governments and military regimes wasted the 68 years of Pakistan. He said that now the government was focusing on building dams. He said that Neelam-Jehlum was near completion while land had been purchased for Bhasha Dam.


Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Education Minister Rana Mashood and GCU Vice chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah attend the inaugural ceremony of an international conference on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

GCU Vice chancellor presents souvenir to Punjab Chief Minister at the inaugural ceremony of the international conference. Education Minister is also present.


In his key note address, Dr Akram Sheikh, the co-chair of NUST Global Think-Tank Network and former Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, said that the government needed to adopt holistic, integrated, consultative, concentrated and coordinated approach to gain maximum benefits from CPEC. He asked the government to add railway network to CPEC for long-term benefits from the project, saying “road network alone is not sustainable.” Dr Akram Sheikh said that there would many mega projects, airports and new cities that would come out of the CPEC, so a special authority should be immediately established to look after and coordinate these mage projects related to this multibillion dollar CPEC. He also shared the complete history and objectives of CPEC and its strategic importance for both China and Pakistan. He identified foreign interference and intervention in ‘Pakistan’s soft belly’ by encouraging terrorism, separatism, extremism hybrid wars and color revolution, our capacity limitations and poor infrastructure as major challenges to CPEC.      


Vice Chancellor Prof Hassan Amir Shah said they had a vision to transform GCU CECS a “real think-tank” for Sino-Pak relations and this conference was a first step towards this goal. He called upon the Punjab Chief Minister, HEC and Chinese consulate for their support for permanent Chinese faculty at the university’s Center for Excellence, China Studies.


In his inaugural speech, GCU CECS Director Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt said CPEC was a ‘game-changer’, and would enhance the Pakistan’s position in global politics. “It would be more beneficial for Pakistan than Suez Canal for Egypt. Apart from political, economic and strategically advantages, it would also bring people of both the countries closer, which was a missing link in Sino-Pak relations,” he added. He said China was the biggest exporter to the world and second biggest importer of oil and this corridor would reduce three times distance for China to reach the Indian Ocean and obviously it will reduce cost price of the goods. He said that Chinese experts attending conference would present papers about the views of different countries of the world including India about CPEC. He said a policy dialogue would also be held at the end of conference and its recommendations would be forwarded to the government.


Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan, Old Ravians Union President Kamran Lashari, Secretary Higher Education Irfan Ali and Commissioner Lahore Abdullah Khan Sumbal also attended the inauguration. The eight technical sessions of the conference include ‘CPEC: Challenges and Prospects’, ‘Sino-Pakistan ties’, ‘Economic, political and strategic dimensions of CPEC’, ‘Strategic Significance of Indian Ocean’ and ‘Socio-cultural and Media perspectives on CPEC. 




GCU CPEC conference begins


An international conference on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is going to begin at the Government College University Lahore under the auspices of its Centre of Excellence China Studies (CECS) and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. As many as 50 eminent academicians and policymakers including twenty from China and seven from the United States and Europe are participating in the two-day conference which was spread over eight technical sessions. CECS Director Dr Khalid Butt said CPEC was going to have highly significant long term impacts on the region, so the conference would explore economic, political, strategic, cultural and social dimensions of the multibillion dollars project. The eight technical sessions of the conference include ‘CPEC: Challenges and Prospects’, ‘Sino-Pakistan ties’, ‘Economic, political and strategic dimensions of CPEC’, ‘Strategic Significance of Indian Ocean’ and ‘Socio-cultural and Media perspectives on CPEC. Dr Butt said that Chinese experts had already arrived at GCU to share their insights and recommendations at the conference.



GCU sign mou with cug wuhan


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will have a significant impact on the society and culture of both countries. The academia should play a role in preparing the people of both regions for these changes, Government College University Vice Chancellor Hassan Amir Shah said. He was speaking at a ceremony to sign a memorandum of understanding on student exchange between the GCU and the China University of Geosciences, Wuhan (CUG). The VC urged the GCU students to benefit from the presence of Chinese students on campus. He said engagement with Chinese students could help GCU students learn about Chinese culture and language. He said the university would provide all possible facilities to its Chinese guests.


Under the MoU, 20 CUG students will participate in the annual summer school at the GCU’s Centre for Excellence in Chinese Studies (CECS). The visiting students will study courses on Pakistan Studies, English Language, Pakistan-China Relations among other subjects. Six GCU students will visit the CUG where they will remain in residence for a month and study courses on Chinese language, culture and economic system. The MoU states that the CUG would assist two GCU students in getting admitted to its masters of sciences (MS) or masters of philosophy (MPhil) degree programmes every year under the China Scholarship Council.


The MoU was signed by the Vice Chancellor GCU and CUG Institute of Environment and Conservation Law (IECL) Director Huang Delin. CECS Director Khalid Maznoor Butt said that the geosciences department at the CUG was among the best in China. He said GCU students should benefit from the opportunity to visit the university and study at the department. He said the CECS was supporting research of several students on Chinese culture, history, political and economic system. Butt said the MoU featured cultural and sports exchange programmes. He said students affiliated with the GCU’s Dramatics Club and Music Society would visit China to perform at cultural events.


GCU Academic Planning and External Links Director Fauzia Shaheen said the accord included faculty and staff exchange programmes. CUG IECL Director Huang Delin said that the CUG would also look forward to collaboration on holding academic conferences and seminars. CUG School of Public Administration’s Associate Professor Xiaqqing Xie and CUG Alumni Association Vice Chairman Lawrence Lu were also present at the ceremony. 





Pak-China friendship is beyond cultures, languages:  Yu Boren


Pakistan-China friendship is beyond cultures and languages and the Chinese community in Lahore is deeply moved to see Pakistanis celebrating our national day as of Pakistan, said Chinese Counsel General Lahore Yun Boren while addressing the celebrations of National Day of China at the Government College University, Lahore. The Chinese community residing in Lahore also attended the ceremony.


“The people of Pakistan and China fill the cultural and language gaps with strong feelings of love and respect which they have for each other,” said Yu Boren who on Wednesday also gifted books on cultural, geography and political and economic systems of China to the university’s  Centre for Excellence in China Studies (CECS). Yu Boren said he was impressed to see GCU CECS students speaking very good Chinese with him, adding that he had also told them that he was also learning Urdu. He said the language would help us understanding our cultures and history. He also said that Pakistan and China were increasing people-to-people contact. He said the youth of both countries was the future of Pakistan-China friendship.


Chinese Counsel General Lahore Yun Boren & Vice Chancellor Prof Hassan
Amir Shah attend celebrations of National Day of China at the GCU

Chinese Counsel General Lahore Yun Boren & Vice Chancellor

Prof Hassan Amir Shah cut cake to celebrate National Day of China


Addressing the ceremony, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said every Pakistani was impressed by the economic development of China in last 66 years, adding that  “we should not only admire China, but also must learn from its experiences and initiatives which have made it an economic power.” He expressed gratitude to the Chinese Counsel General for his support to GCU CECS in shape of equipment and books.  


GCU CECS Director Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, who had returned from China on Wednesday morning after an official visit on directions of the chief minister, said that the love and respect which Chinese gave to Pakistanis was unprecedented in the whole world. He hoped Pakistan would also progress and proper with support of his friend China. DCO Lahore Captain (r) Muhammad Usman and Additional Commissioner Ms Waseema also felicitated the Chinese community of Lahore on their National Day.                     


Earlier, the GCU Nazir Ahmed Music Night presented folk music for Chinese Counsel General and other Chinese attending their ceremony which was followed by a quiz competition among the academic departments of the university on Pakistan-China friendship. Yun Boren presented souvenirs to the winners of the quiz competition and highly appreciated their knowledge about China. Later, Mr and Mrs Boren, Prof Hassan Amir Shah, Capitan (r) Muhammad Usman and Dr Khalid Maznoor Butt cut a cake to celebrate the Chinese National Day.   




Chinese Consulate Lahore donates IT equipments to GCU

The Chinese Consulate Lahore has provided IT equipment which includes computers and printers to the Government College University, Lahore Centre for Excellence, China Studies (GCU CECS) and also pledged to provide books on Chinese language and culture to the Centre.

“Pakistan China friendship has a bright future. Language is a bridge that connects people and this Centre would play a key role in bringing the people of China and Pakistan close, said Mr Yun Boren, the Counsel General of Peoples Republic of China in Lahore, while addressing the inauguration of Chinese Language Course organised by GCU CECS. Mr Yun Boren said Pakistan and China were strong strategic partners and their friendship had stood the test of time. But, he also laid a particular stress on bringing the young generations of both brotherly countries closer and bridging the social and cultural gap.

Speaking on the occasion, Zoology Department Chairperson Prof Dr Nusrat Jahan said that China had played a very important in role of development of Pakistan. She hoped that research conducted by the GCU CECS would improve their understanding about the different aspect of Chinese culture, political system and economic development.    

GCU CECS Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt shared the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and former Secretary Punjab Higher Education Abdullah Khan Sumbal for establishing the centre at GCU. He said that the Chinese Language Certificate was just a beginning and the Centre would soon start a diploma and ultimately a degree programme on Chinese language and literature. However, he said that the big aim of the GCU China Studies and Centre was to conduct and support on different aspects of China, which would ultimately improve their understanding about the friend country and bring the people both countries more close. In a light mood, he also shared with the participants that he, the director of the centre, was the student of Chinese language course.  He said that they had received huge number of applications for admissions to Chinese Language Certificate which showed the interest of people from all walks of life in learning Chinese language. 

Commissioner Lahore Division Abdullah Khan Sumbal said that Pakistan had very strong strategic and economic ties with China, so they, the government officials, should also learn the Chinese Language. He also welcomed Mr Yun Boren in Lahore.

Later, Mr Yun Boren visited the GCU Centre for Excellence, China Studies.   









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