Triumph in Archaeology University of Peshawar (Pakistan) and Universiti Sains Malaysia Inked MoU for Mutual Cooperation
In view of the growing relations between the Government of Pakistan and the Government of Malaysia and in order to promote academic cooperation between the educational institutions of Pakistan and that of Malaysia, the University of Peshawar (UoP), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan) and the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang (Malaysia) agreed to carry out joint archaeological research in Pakistan and Malaysia. The aim of the linkage would be to expand scholarly ties, facilitate academic cooperation and to promote mutual understanding.
A formal Memorandum of Agreement was signed in this respect by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan, Vice-Chancellor University of Peshawar and Prof. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, acting Vice-Chancellor Universiti Sains Malaysia. The MoA signing ceremony took place during the visit of Vice Chancellor to Malaysia. Prof. Dr. M. Nasim Khan, Director Institute of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Peshawar and Prof. Dr. Mohd Mokhtar Saidin, Director Centre for Global Archaeological Research, University Sains Malaysia, were also present on the occasion.
Under the agreement the Institute of Archaeology and Social Anthropology (UoP) and the Centre for Global Archaeological Research Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) will jointly conduct archaeological exploration and excavation in the Gandhara region of Pakistan and the Bujang Valley in Malaysia. The collaboration is believed to be the first between both universities. The aim of the joint activities will be to share expertise, students’ exchanges and faculty for research, training and lectures, seminars, conferences and discussions that will mutually benefit both the institutions.
The joint venture programme will start this year. The Malaysian team to be headed by Prof. Dr. Mohd Mokhtar Saidin will arrive in June to jointly survey and excavate the earliest Shaiva shrine at Kashmir Smast (Mardan) and the Buddhist site of Aziz Dheri (Swabi). Reciprocally, Prof. Dr.M.Nasim Khan together with his student will visit Malaysia to conduct excavation of Sungai Batu, Bujang Valley site in Kedah state of Malaysia.
While explaining the historical significance of the Gandhara region after the MoU signing ceremony, the Vice-chancellor University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Rasul Jan highlighted that the region is extremely rich in archaeological heritage and has lot of potential for scholars and students of both institutes. This will deepen the research horizon with different perspectives, he added.
Prof. Jan specifically mentioned the Hindu and Buddhist civilizations of ancient Gandhara and the contribution made by the Department of archaeology, University of Peshawar. He pointed out that with the UoP’s experience and expertise, they can help USM in the Sungai Batu research and reciprocally the USM will help the University of Peshawar in scientific analysis. He said that the MoA would be a long term project between the two Universities that would be beneficial for both sides. He added that staff and students will be trained in history and civilization and cultural material analysis in Peshawar. The staff and students from UoP will be sent to the USM for receiving training in archaeological science and data analysis, he said.
The vice-chancellor University of Peshawar, who was also accompanied by the Director Institute of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Peshawar, visited the different archaeological sites in the Bujang Valley of the Kedah State and remains in the Lenggong Valley of the Perak state. He also visited different museums in the Penang, Kedah and Perak states and was very much impressed by the archaeological discoveries and the importance given by the government of Malaysia towards the protection of its cultural heritage.
Caption of Pic :( From left). Prof. Dr. Mohd Mokhtar Saidin, Prof. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan, Prof. Dr. M. Nasim Khan posing for a group photo after the signing ceremony in USM’s Chancellery Building in Penang.
Media & Protocol Officer
University of Peshawar
News Date: 15 - Apr - 2013