Islamabad, 21 June 2022 (TDI): The foreign minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,  reaffirmed the return of the first group of 90 Pakistani students to China.

The returned Pakistan students will resume their on-campus education. These students returned to China on a special chartered flight after a long period of Covid-19 SOPs.

Upon their arrival, the returned Pakistan students were welcomed by several dignitaries. These include the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Rana Tanveer Hussain, and the Additional Secretary (Asia-Pacific) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asim Iftikhar Ahmad.

Other dignitaries included senior officials from the Foreign Office, Federal Education, and HEC. The return of these students came as a result of the appeal made by the the foreign minister.

As a result, the appeal came during Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s meeting with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in China on May 22, 2022.

In addition, several ministries have been actively involved in attempts to facilitate the return of the students.

These ministries included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, HEC, and the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing.

In light of this, the Pakistani government expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for allowing this group of students to return home.

Federal Minister’s Visit to the Airport

The Federal Minister praised the students for their decision to return to China to finish their studies. He stated that it is the national obligation to assist young people in their pursuit of knowledge.

Furthermore, he recognized the challenges experienced by the students in the past two years. The foreign minister also recognized the effort put in by students in contacting the HEC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of FE&PT.

According to the federal minister, relevant stakeholders held a round of deliberations. The relevant stakeholders included the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad and Pakistan.

It also included MoFEPT, HEC, and MoFA. This was to address the issue of 5,832 students who provided their information online to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.

Three Completion Phases for Students

The strategy for the completion of students’ studies is determined into three phases.

Firstly, there is a priority of 1, 492 students scheduled to finish their degree programs in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Secondly, there is a priority of 2, 1,529 students scheduled to graduate in 2022.

Thirdly, there is a priority of 3, 3,196 remaining students expected to earn their degrees by 2023.

In conclusion, there are expectations for the smooth arrival of the first batch. This is to pave the way for the return of all Pakistani students to China for on-campus studies.

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