Working under by the direction set forth by the agreement for bilateral cooperation between the Governments of Pakistan and Belarus, signed May 2015, and enable the realization of the “Road Map of Bilateral Cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the Short and Medium Term,” COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), together with the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS), under the patronage of the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of Pakistan, hosted the Second Joint Pakistan-Belarus Young Scientists Forum in Islamabad, Pakistan from 17th to 22nd December 2017.
While the maiden forum was hosted by the National Academy of Sciences Belarus (NASB) at Minsk in 2015, the purpose of holding this reciprocal forum in Pakistan was to demonstrate the high quality of research being conducted in Pakistan and help identify and maximize opportunities for joint collaboration in high priority areas of science and technology, forge significant researcher-to-researcher links and strengthen the coordination and communication among the young early to mid-career scientists and researchers of both countries. Ten young scientists from a wide range of disciplines of various Belarusian universities and the research institutions of the NASB partook in this emerging forum; namely Alexey Keltskov, Anna Hadarovich, Anton Martinov, Andrei Bandalouski, Aksana Paulava, Egor Kaniukov, Dmitriy Shiman, Pavel Krasochka, Volha Alisiyonak and Ilya Baryskevich.
The forum opened at the 15th Frontiers of Information Technology (FIT-2017), CIIT’s most prestigious annual international conference on ICTs, where the delegates attended several illuminating sessions of national and international speakers. They also attended Best IT Innovation Awards 2017, where they saw great innovative IT projects of Pakistani students and young scientists. The Belarussian scientists also met with Secretary Ministry of Science & Technology, Mrs. Yasmin Masood at an event of FIT-2017, who warmly welcomed the young delegates to Pakistan.
The delegates were also met by Rector CIIT, Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar (T.I.) who encouraged all forum participants from CIIT and Belarus to fully use the opportunity to seek avenues for collaboration. On the subsequent days they got a chance to visit state of the art research and scientific labs of CIIT, Islamabad Campus, where they also met with the senior researchers working on various ground-breaking projects with their faculty and students. They heard various research talks of CIIT early career researchers on the thematic areas of Computer Sciences, Engineering, Physics and Biosciences. The Belarussian scientists presented their own research work which garnered a lot of interest from CIIT counterparts. The forum successfully concluded on the 22nd December. The participants on both sides were able to identify several areas of mutual interest.
On the sidelines the delegates also got the chance to learn about the rich culture and heritage of Pakistan. They especially enjoyed the delicious cuisine and were mesmerized by the song and dance and particularly appreciated the warmth of the Pakistani people.