Pakistan-Afghanistan relations have been sour for quite some time and with Kabul getting inclined towards India, Islamabad is leaving no stone unturned to win back the angry neighbour. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has decided to award 3,000 scholarships to Afghan students, a development confirmed by Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Saturday.
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According to reports, the scholarships would be offered in phases and every year students of different categories will benefit from the programme. The special assistant said that Afghan students are being invited to get higher education in different institutes of Pakistan in various fields, including medicine, engineering, agriculture, and management and computer science.
The announcement came a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani completed his two-day state visit to the country. Under the scholarship programme, overall 600 students would be given admission in different medical and dental colleges while as many would be given admission in different engineering universities.
“In the first phase, around 795 Afghan students would visit the country this year for studies,” said the special assistant, adding that the scholarships are a gift from the government of Pakistan.
The Afghan students will also get admission in different masters and Ph.D. programmes in different universities across the country. Awan said the scholarships will cover living allowance, book allowance, hostel dues and tuition fees of the Afghan students.
“The aim of the scheme is to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan and to enhance people-to-people contacts between the two neighbouring countries,” she added.