London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Director and President, Professor Craig Calhoun recently visited Pakistan along with representatives of the South Asia Centre. He was accompanied by Dr Mukulika Banerjee, Director of the newly-launched South Asia Centre at LSE.
During the visit, Professor Calhoun met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom he invited to speak at LSE in honour of Pakistan’s upcoming 70th anniversary of independence. He also discussed LSE’s proposal for a Jinnah Professorship at LSE in recognition of the achievements of the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The proposal was warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister and others in Pakistan. He also extended an invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to speak at the LSE.
Professor Calhoun announced a major Pakistan initiative of the South Asia Centre including a series of events in Pakistan and the UK to mark 70 years of Pakistan’s independence. These include regular summits in Pakistan, the first of which will be held next year.
Professor Calhoun met with academics, ministers, business leaders, other prominent individuals and visited universities to discuss fundraising for scholarships for Pakistani students to study at LSE, and strengthen and extend research collaborations. The International Growth Centre at LSE has been conducting research in Pakistan for more than 5 years but LSE would now like to work on a wider range of issues.
Professor Calhoun said: ‘It is very important that the global community develop a new understanding of Pakistan as a country enjoying economic growth and opportunity, participating more widely in international trade, and developing creative responses to social issues.’
Dr. Banerjee noted: ‘I am delighted to return to Pakistan after 23 years where I had first conducted research as a PhD student in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.’
The delegation also included Dr Nilanjan Sarkar, Deputy Director, South Asia Centre and Dr Adnan Qadir Khan, Research and Policy Director, International Growth Centre, LSE. They were accompanied by prominent LSE alumni Ali Jameel, CEO, TPL Trakker Ltd, and Ms Fayeeza Naqvi, Co-founder & Chairperson, Aman Foundation.