Caretaker Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Madad Ali Sindhi, announced the launch of the 3rd phase of the Allama Muhammad Iqbal Scholarships Programme for Afghan nationals. This new phase will provide 4,500 scholarships over three years for Afghan students to study in top-ranked Pakistani universities. The minister addressed the graduation ceremony for 281 Afghan students who completed their studies under Phase II of the Programme. These students graduated from 25 universities in Pakistan, receiving Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in various disciplines.
A total of 6,000 Afghan students have been awarded scholarships during the first two phases of the Scholarship Project. The minister emphasized the significance of this moment as a new chapter in the students’ lives, urging them to shoulder increased responsibility upon returning to Afghanistan. He encouraged them to identify and address the challenges facing their country using their intellectual capabilities.
The minister also highlighted the importance of capacity building for Afghan students and faculty, commending the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for its role in providing higher education opportunities through scholarships in Pakistan. Chairman of HEC, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, congratulated the students on their achievements and praised their dedication and hard work. He particularly acknowledged those who secured first positions in their degree programs and applauded all students for their resilience in the face of challenges.
Recognizing the strong ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan as neighboring countries, Dr. Ahmed emphasized Pakistan’s responsibility in supporting and assisting Afghanistan, considering the two nations as brothers. He urged the students to consider themselves as Pakistani ambassadors and catalysts for the development and prosperity of their home country. Dr. Ahmed highlighted the significance of networking in career development and encouraged the students to harness their potential, reaffirming that Pakistan is their second home.
He stressed that Afghanistan deserves to flourish and become a developed nation, and the students present at the ceremony play a crucial role in this transformation. Dr. Ahmed commended the Vice Chancellors for creating an environment that nurtures bright minds ready to contribute effectively to their nation upon their return.
Asif Durrani, the Special Representative on Afghanistan from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflected on the significant impact of past Afghan alumni who pursued higher education opportunities in Pakistan.