Islamabad: Ministry of Science and Technology with support of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Pakistan, COMSTECH, International Center for Chemical and Biological Center held a ceremony to celebrate the landmark of China-Pakistan Space Science and Technology cooperation on the eve of the return of Pakistani Seeds from Chinese Space, at COMSTECH auditorium Islamabad today.
The ceremony was attended by the political leadership, diplomats, scientists, Technologists, Professionals and senior officers of the ministry and its attached organizations.
Addressing the ceremony, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Prof. Dr. Ahsan Iqbal said that the “seeds in Space” project is a milestone in collaborations between scientists of both countries. The project provides a platform for researchers to share knowledge and resources, leading to economic growth. This project is a cornerstone in advancing space science, herbal medicine, and research.
Federal Minister for Planning further said that continuity of policies and political stability plays vital role in progress of any country as it was seen in China while approach of polarisation, sudden change in governments, left the country behind in today’s world. Space technology today was very critical for human development, life on earth and protection of environment, he added. He also hoped that soon Pakistani astronauts would join the China in space missions.
In her address H.E Madam, Pang Chunxue, Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, praised the scientists of both countries for their joint efforts in a successful scientific experiment. She said that experiment represents a landmark in China-Pakistan S&T cooperation and will be recorded in the history of their friendship.
She also said that both countries are committed to building a closer community with a shared future, through open and inclusive cooperation, for the benefit of their peoples and the prosperity of the nations. Ms. Pang said that she believes that deepening cooperation will bring greater benefits.
Speaking at the occasion, Pakistani scientists project and group lead Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Coordinator General COMSTECH/ Director ICCBS said that
ICCBS is proud to announce a major milestone in the cooperation of space science and technology between Pakistan and China with the successful sending of seeds into space. This foundational step marks an important point in the continued growth and partnership between the two countries and will drive future cooperation in the field of space science. ICCBS is one of most decorated institutions of Pakistan which will continue its efforts for cooperation in the field of S&T.
Speaking to the audience. Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Memon, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology added that
“The Ministry of Science and Technology proudly announces the successful return of seeds sent to space by Pakistani and Chinese scientists in collaboration with the China Manned Space Agency. We appreciate their efforts and look forward to continued partnerships in the field of Science, Technology, and Innovation. The Ministry remains committed to supporting the growth and development of our scientists.”
Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Prof. Dr. Shahid Baig said that
PSF boosts coordination among S&T institutions. Support from Chinese institutions leads to stronger strategic and academic infrastructure in Pakistan. PSF serves as a key tool for socio-economic development.”
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Agha Hassan Baloch who has taken keen interest in the project since the beginning but could not join the ceremony owing to a health problem, said in his message that Pakistan China friendship is deep routed, eternal, and based on mutual trust. He said, this project was a milestone in a scientific research history of the country. It was the first time that Pakistani medicinal seeds were sent to the space with the joint efforts of the scientists of both countries which would not only provide enormous opportunities for further research on other planets but also make plant cultivation on earth easier in harsh weather conditions caused by global warming.
The seeds sent to the space include Trigonella foenum-graecum ( Methi), Lawsonia inermis ( Mehndi), Moringa Olefera ( Sohanjna), Withania somnifera (ashwagandha), Tribulus Terrestris ( Gokhroo), Gossypium arboretum (Mughal punta dana) and Caesalpinia bonducella (Kuranjwa).
The scientists who contributed to the project included Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Prof. Dr. Atia tul Wahab, Dr. Yan Wang, Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, Prof. Dr. Ahsana Dar Tariq, and Prof. Dr. Ghazala. H. Rizwani.