ISLAMABAD - In the evolving globalizing world, the economic strength as well as access to technology and enabling environment for innovation determines the status of a nation. Without economic strength and knowledge, we would remain vulnerable to external manipulations at the cost of reaching our true and proper position.

These remarks were expressed by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali while inaugurating a three-day international conference on Botany at the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

Quaid-i-Azam University in collaboration with Pakistan Botanical Society (PBS) is hosting the 3rd International Conference on Botany from September 1-3 at the campus with an aim to provide a historic opportunity to its scientists and young scholars to meet with distinguished intellectuals and leading experts, exchange ideas and develop strategies in the field of plant sciences.

QAU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai in his welcome address said that the representatives of various countries here in this conference together possess a credible S&T potential. Some countries have created a basic infrastructure and have achieved a degree of success on certain fronts, but are lacking in capital resources to sustain their R&D set-up. On the other hand, some states have very weak S&T base and are almost completely dependent on imported technologies but possess huge capital resources to meet these requirements. This forum provides an opportunity to discuss such issues at least for plant sciences and to get benefit from the research advances made. “Mutual cooperation is need of the hour. We must forge unity among our rank and file and demonstrate our commitment for assisting each other in working for the common cause of regaining our lost glory of leadership and research,” said the Vice-Chancellor.

He said that education must be thought of as an essential investment in national development and not as expenditure. We must first build our people through grooming their minds by a challenging educational system, which can suitably prepare them to tackle key national problems. 

Earlier, Dr. Zabta Khan Shinwari, head of the Department of Bio Technology and President of Pakistan Botanical Society, in his detailed presentation described the history and background of the Botanical Society, scope of Plant Sciences. Dean Faculty of Biological Sciences Prof. Dr. Asghari Bano briefed the audiences about the achievements of the faculty.

Almost 200 scientists and faculty members, across the country and abroad (Oman, Turkey, Saudi Arab, France) have been participating in the conference. These scientists in their lectures, poster presentations and panel discussions will elaborate recent trends in their relative fields of expertise including Physiology, Ecology, Eco-physiology, Microbial Interactions, Plant Taxonomy, Economic Botany, Molecular Biology, Plants and Environment, Agriculture Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Breeding and Genetics.