New Pakistan studies professorship to be established at UC Berkeley

By Janet Gilmore, Public Affairs

BERKELEY--The University of California, Berkeley's International and Area Studies program is teaming up with the government of Pakistan to establish a new Pakistan studies professorship at UC Berkeley.

The position, called the Quaid-i-Azam Chair of Pakistan Studies, was announced today (Thursday, May 20) by Ambassador of Pakistan Riaz Khokhar and David Leonard, dean of International and Area Studies at UC Berkeley and professor of political science.

"The Quaid-i-Azam chair offers us a wonderful opportunity to deepen our understanding of Pakistan in particular and South Asia in general," said Leonard. "We are flattered that the government of Pakistan has honored us in this way; it is a tribute to the length and quality of the relationships we have had with Pakistani students and scholars over the years."

The search for a scholar for the professorship will begin immediately, with plans to fill the position by fall 2000, at the latest. The individual, who will be chosen from colleges and universities in Pakistan, will have a full-time teaching and research position at UC Berkeley for two years. The position will rotate and, every two years, a new scholar from Pakistan will come to the UC Berkeley campus. The Pakistan government's Ministry of Education will provide funds for the scholar's salary and other expenses.

The chair is named for Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader who founded Pakistan and is known by the title, "Father of the Nation," or "Quaid-i-Azam."

The government of Pakistan has supported the establishment of the position to encourage increased knowledge of Pakistan in the United States and to help forge better ties between American academics and their counterparts in Pakistan.

Establishment of the new chair will strengthen Pakistan studies at UC Berkeley and respond to the growing interest in the subject matter from Pakistani Americans and others, said Steven Poulos, vice chair of International and Area Studies at UC Berkeley.

The International and Area Studies' Center for South Asia Studies is one of the leaders in North America for the study of the sub-continent, and it is a natural choice for the Pakistan government-sponsored chair. For 27 years, the center has maintained in Lahore, Pakistan, an advanced language training center for Urdu, which is the language spoken in Pakistan.

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