Pakistani Ambassador Mohamed Sarfraz A Khanzada said that QR3.2mn would be spent on the renovation and upgrading of the Pakistan Education Centre (PEC). Speaking at a reception in his honour, by the Pak Youth Society (PYS), the envoy, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Pakistan Education Center, announced that new faculty members, including a principal and vice- principal, were being recruited. “We will ensure that all recruitments will be made purely on the basis of merit,” the envoy said. Khanzada revealed that soon after his arrival he had formed a new school board comprising 12 members of the community who would run independently the affairs of the school, one of the oldest expatriate educational institutions in Qatar. The school is located in the Mesaimeer area. PEC, formerly known as Pakistani School, was established in Umm Gowlina in 1967 by community members Dr. Abdul Qavi, Dr Iftikhar, Capt. Mushtaq, Hazrat Noor and Maqbool Hussain. In 1978, on the advice of the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the school was taken over by the Pakistani embassy. The school was renamed Pakistan Education Centre after moving to its own buildings at the present premises in 1985. Presently, around 3,500 students study at the school. The ambassador announced that the community hall would be completed within a year. The foundation stone for the Pakistani Community Hall & Teachers Residence was laid in 1992. Khanzada told the community members that he had asked Islamabad for more staff at the Pakistan embassy to speed up the processing of machine readable passports. He also informed that a canteen at the embassy premises would start functioning immediately, after the holy month of Ramadan, for the benefit of the people waiting for consular services. “During Eid al-Fitr, we will have an open house for families and the Pakistani students studying in various universities and colleges in Qatar.” The programme began with PYS founder president, Tahir Mahmoud Chaudhary, welcoming Khanzada, the 11th Pakistani ambassador to Qatar. Among other speakers were Pakistani businessman Mohamed Khan and poet Mumtaz Rashid. The event, held at Holiday Villa, was sponsored by Mohamed Shafiq Farooq, Khabab Ahmad, Ashraf Siddiqui and Dr. Hamid Taqi. It was attended by community leaders, businessmen, leading professionals and staff of the Pakistani embassy.