Erdogan emerges as symbol of Islamic renaissance: Masood
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MUZAFFARABAD (AJK), Nov 13 (APP): Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Friday said Turkey had emerged as a centre of hope for the Muslim world, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had risen as a symbol of the renaissance of Islam.

He was addressing the send-off ceremony of the faculty members and students of the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir proceeding to Turkey for higher studies under the Turkish Council of Higher Education International Scholarship Programme 2020 here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, a press release said.

Turkish Ambassador in Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul, Vice-Chancellor AJK University Prof. Dr Kalim Abbasi, Prof Dr Naeem Qureshi, representative of Higher Education Commission Dr Hassan Jalil Shah and others addressed the ceremony.

President Masood thanked the Turkish government and the Turkish Council of Higher Education for facilitating quality higher education to the faculty and students of the AJK University and said already excellent relations existed among the peoples of Turkey and Pakistan, and the Kashmiri people would further strengthen through this exchange programme at the university level.

He maintained that Turkey had always helped Pakistan and the Kashmiri people in every difficult hour and it was the first country to reach to “us in the wake of the 2005 earthquake and 2010 flash floods”.

He appreciated the Turkish government for adopting a principled stand on the Kashmir issue and the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

“The boldness which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had demonstrated first in his address to the Parliament of Pakistan and later to the UN General Assembly condemning unlawful actions taken by India in occupied Jammu and Kashmir last year, and the forthright support he had declared to the liberation struggle of Kashmiri people, has no precedence.”

Speaking about cooperation among Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Turkey in the education sector, Sardar Masood said the AJK government would extend full cooperation if Turkey established a chain of schools in Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Rawalakot and other areas, besides providing facilities of higher education to Kashmiri boy and girl students in Turkey.

He also invited Turkish investors to make an investment in agriculture, tourism and education sectors in Azad Kashmir and said,”We want to utilize the experiences of Turkey in these fields.”

Turkish Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yrdakul expressed the hope that the students of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, who were leaving for Turkey to get a higher education, would enjoy history, culture and the natural beauty of his country side by side with getting an education.

He assured that Turkey would continue to support AJK students and the government in developing the education sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor AJK University Prof Dr Kalim Abbasi said 27 faculty members and students had been sent to Turkey for the doctorate and undergraduate studies since collaboration between the AJK University and the Turkish Council of Higher Education started in 2016, and now the Turkish Government had announced 10 new scholarships bringing the total number to 37.

“There is also ‘Mevlana Exchange Programme’ between the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Turkish Government through which faculty members and students are visiting well-reputed universities of Turkey for a short period of one to months.

The exchange programme is also effective in promoting research collaboration among different departments and faculty members, and providing exposure to the students of the AJK,” he added.

The vice-chancellor appreciated the Turkish government for raising the temporary structure of the city campus of the university which had collapsed in 2005 earthquake, besides providing unprecedented humanitarian assistance to the quake victims.