By Paras Ali

MARKING ITS 30th anniversary, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) has recently awarded the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) the ISESCO Medal in recognition of its enhanced scientific cooperation with the former for science-led development initiatives since 2004. This collaboration ranges from holding of scientific capacity-building events, information exchanges and development of a web-portal, the Islamic World Science Net (

The award was conferred by Deputy Director General ISESCO, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, to Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi at a ceremony held here in Islamabad.

In his remarks on the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar and Dr. Qureshi appreciated the support of the government of Pakistan and the Ministry of Science and Technology for supporting the two organizations. Awarding the gold medal to the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. Mukhtar noted with great appreciation the scientific initiatives taken by COMSATS Secretariat under his able leadership.

Dr. Mukhtar revealed that ISESCO has partnered with over 160 organizations in as many as 57 countries in taking forward the science and technology operation and are showing positive results. He appreciated the dynamic role of Dr. I. E. Qureshi and Engr. Tajammul Hussain in running the COMSATS operations in an effective manner.

Accepting the award, Dr. Qureshi thanked ISESCO for its generous recognition of COMSATS efforts and noted that COMSATS organized 15 scientific activities during the last five years in collaboration with ISESCO that had benefited researchers.

He also lauded the hard work and dedication of the small team of COMSATS Secretariat, to whom, he believed, the Medal really belongs.

Dr. I.E. Qureshi also appraised the leading role of Dr. Mukhtar as Deputy DG ISESCO who has always supported Pakistan in initiating the steps for the promotion of science and technology. He also mentioned that COMSATS, now having 12 Muslim members, is a volunteer organisation established with the basic of cooperating with developing countries for attaining self-sustainability. So far as many as 26 countries have benefitted from COMSATS human resource trainings, which played a critical role for development of member countries.

The Medal awarded to COMSATS has given a boost to the already thriving working relations of the two organizations. During 2012 alone, 3 collaborative events have been organized by the two organizations in Malaysia, Jordan and Bangladesh, while two more have been lined up for Tunisia and Malaysia.

The COMSATS is an inter-governmental organization, with its headquarters in Islamabad, was established in 1994 with an aiming at sustainable socio-economic uplift of the developing countries through appropriate applications of science and technology. A group of 17 science and technology organizations in different developing countries are also affiliated with COMSATS as its Network of Centres of Excellence.

The Commission is actively involved in sharing expertise and technology from all over the world and is implementing various programmes and projects in collaboration with its member countries, as well as international organizations/agencies. The size and scope of the programmes and projects varies from national and regional to international levels.

The idea of establishing ISESCO was matured in 1978 when the 9th OIC Foreign Minister met in Dakar, Senegal, with a main objective of Islamic unity in the world.

The other objectives of ISESCO are to strengthen, promote and consolidate cooperation among the member States and consolidate it in the fields of education, science, culture and communication, as well as to develop and upgrade these fields, within the framework of the civilizational reference of the Islamic world and in the light of the human Islamic values and ideals.

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