Lahore—Peter Upton, the country director of British Council Pakistan, has said that Pakistan is not as it is perceived in different countries of the world. “And those of us (foreigners) who have worked and lived here know that there is a very different story – a good new story about Pakistan,” he said.
The outgoing Country Director was addressing a farewell ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Education, Punjab at the Government College University Lahore to pay tribute to his services for promotion of education in Pakistan. A good number of vice chancellors, academicians, secretaries of various provincial departments, officials of British Council and members of Punjab Assembly were present.
Speaking on the occasion, Peter Upton said that his family had been very scared when he was deputed in Pakistan, but the last four years were one the best periods of his life in which he had travelled all across the country and met with the highly inspiring Pakistanis.
“I am leaving Pakistan but this wonderful country and its people would never go away from my heart,” he said.
Peter Upton said that reason behind British Council’s success in Pakistan was that they believed in Pakistanis and their creative and innovation skills. He expressed special gratitude to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for his support to the British Council.
Addressing the ceremony, Punjab Minister for Schools Education Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan said the government would ensure 95 percent enrollment in schools this year. He said he had preferred ministry of schools over higher education and sports because the Chief Minister was very much concerned about enrollment of children and quality of education in the government schools. He paid tribute to Peter Upton and his team for their sincere efforts and hard work for uplift of education in Punjab.
GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said that their ties universities in the United Kingdom through the British Council were historic and long lasting, adding that lately they had organized the first international conference on Modern and Contemporary Language, Literature and Culture in collaboration with the British Council. He also highlighted that GCU and British Council had a strong cultural ties.
Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Prof Dr Nizamud Din and Secretary Higher Education Irfan Ali also highlighted the services of Peter Upton and Rana Mashood in higher education sector in Pakistan. They also appreciated that the strong linkages of universities with the British Council, and hoped these relationships would prosper further.
The ceremony was followed by musical program in which students from GCU Nazir Ahmed Music Society also performed. The music especially poetry of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmed Faiz were highly enjoyed and appreciated by the foreign guests.