President Dr Arif Alvi will inaugurate the second phase of Allama Iqbal Scholarship program for Afghan students on Monday, according to the official sources. Last year, Pakistan sanctioned additional scholarships to 3,000 Afghan students, under the second phase of the Program. Moreover, 100 scholarships were offered to Afghan women to pursue graduate degrees as well. The Government of Pakistan had awarded 3,000 undergraduate scholarships to Afghan students through the Allama Iqbal Scholarship Program in the year 2017, while students also availed these scholarship prospect in 2018.
According to the officials, 3000 students were selected in October 2018, through a rigorous process and will be the new batch to commence their degree programmes in 2019.
Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Officials of the Afghan Mission in Islamabad, Chairman Higher Education Commission Tariq Banuri and Vice Chancellors will also attend the inaugural ceremony.
According to sources, almost 50,000 to 55,000 Pakistan trained engineers, doctors, IT experts etc. were already serving in Afghanistan. Moreover, almost 6000 new Afghan graduate, masters and doctoral candidates were also added to the Afghan job market through these prospects, annually.
Pakistan and Afghanistan both encompass the highest young population ratios in the world.” Pakistan is desirous of fully developing this joint resource to take long term charge if growth and development of both countries, and at the same time limiting space for extremists to hire these youth as gun fodder in their unending battles and wars,” the sources revealed.