The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Balochistan Development Network (BDN), an membership-based network comprising of 25 civil society organizations of Balochistan, Pakistan.
The MoU was signed by Chairperson of BDN, Mr. Amjad Rashid Qureshi, and Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, President of AIT, on 17 November 2017.
Signing the agreement, the BDN Chairperson stated that the province of Balochistan requires technical assistance from well-established institutions like AIT. Faced with a dearth of qualified professionals, BDN wishes to engage with AIT to develop human resources in Balochistan, he said. Adding that climate change has emerged as a major challenge in their province, Amjad Rasheed sought the creation of an informal network of BDN, AIT and governmental organizations and universities to tackle this challenge.
AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai stated that AIT’s mission is to work towards the development of the region, and that the Institute is very happy to work towards the development of Balochistan. AIT has always worked with organizations from all over the world, and its international character is reflected in its student body as well as employees, Prof. Worsak said. Stating that the Ambassador of Pakistan had visited the Institute earlier this month, President Worsak told the delegates that Pakistan was one of the founding members of AIT. “With this agreement, you can consider AIT to be your knowledge partner,” Prof. Worsak added.
Dr. Jonathan Shaw, Executive Director of AIT Extension mentioned that the AIT possesses a strong alumni network in Balochistan. Universities in Balochistan are keen to engage with AIT, and the partnership with BDN could help launch of a number of initiatives involving the civil society, educational institutions, as well as the government, he said. “There is interest in projects and courses in the field of climate change, adaptation and preparedness, and AIT could jointly work with organizations in Balochistan in this field,” Dr. Shaw added.
The visiting delegation included Mr. Syed Abdul Jalil and Mr. Pervez Iqbal of BDN. AIT was represented by President. Worsak, Dr. Jonathan Shaw and Mr. Fazle Karim of AIT Extension, and Ms. Sumana Shrestha, Senior Program Officer, Office of External Relations (OEXR).