The Higher Education Commission (HEC) declares the availability of 4,500 scholarships for students from Afghanistan

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has initiated the third phase of the Allama Muhammad Iqbal Scholarships Program for Afghan Nationals. In this latest phase, 4,500 scholarships will be granted to Afghan students to pursue their studies at top-tier Pakistani universities over a three-year period.

The announcement was made by Mr. Madad Ali Sindhi, the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, during a graduation ceremony held at the HEC Secretariat. The event celebrated the graduation of 281 Afghan students who had successfully completed their studies under Phase II of the program.

These students have earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in diverse fields such as Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture, Management, and Computer Science from 25 universities across Pakistan. Notably, this scholarship initiative has already benefited 6,000 Afghan students through the first two phases.

Addressing the Afghan graduates, the Minister emphasized that this moment marks the commencement of a new chapter in their lives. He encouraged them to carry a heightened sense of responsibility upon their return to Afghanistan, urging them to identify and address the challenges facing their country by utilizing their intellectual capabilities.

The Minister stressed the crucial importance of capacity building for both Afghan students and faculty. He also acknowledged the pivotal role played by the HEC in providing educational opportunities for Afghan students through scholarships in Pakistan.

During his welcome speech, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of the HEC, extended his congratulations to the graduating students, lauding their hard work and dedication. He also recognized the Afghan students who had achieved top positions in their respective degree programs and commended all the students for their resilience in overcoming numerous challenges.
Recognizing the close proximity and strong bonds between Pakistan and Afghanistan as neighboring nations, he underscored Pakistan’s responsibility in aiding and supporting Afghanistan, referring to them as fraternal nations. He encouraged the students, whom he characterized as intelligent and diligent, to consider themselves as ambassadors for Pakistan and catalysts for the development and prosperity of their homeland.

The Chairman also emphasized the significance of networking for career growth and urged the students to harness their potential, reminding them that Pakistan is their second home. He emphasized that Afghanistan’s progress and transformation into a developed nation are well-deserved, and the students present play a pivotal role in this transition. He commended the Vice Chancellors for creating an environment that nurtures bright minds ready to make substantial contributions upon their return to their homeland.

During the event, Mr. Asif Durrani, the Special Representative on Afghanistan (SRA) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflected on the notable impact of past initiatives, where many Afghan alumni who pursued higher education opportunities in Pakistan are now actively contributing to various sectors in Afghanistan. He extended his congratulations to the Afghan graduates and expressed optimism that their return to Afghanistan would enable them to serve their nation effectively and assume diverse responsibilities.

Mr. Durrani stressed that the knowledge and expertise acquired by these individuals will not only benefit their families but also contribute to informed decision-making in both their professional and personal lives. He emphasized the role of an educated society in facilitating societal development and concluded by underlining the symbiotic relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, highlighting the cherished connection between the two nations and the positive influence it will have on their shared future.

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