Islamabad, 16 December 2021 (TDI): Shafqat Mehmood, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Education, Vocational Training, National Heritage, and Culture received Afghan Minister Alhaj Abdul Baqi Haqqani. Haqqani is the Minister of Higher Education. A five-member delegation from his country accompanied him.

Both Ministers discussed areas of bilateral interests. Both sides agreed to cooperate in the field of education.  Welcoming the Afghan delegation he said that, ‘the present Taliban government is closest to our heart’.

Adding on reiterated Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resolve to support the present government in Afghanistan. This by helping in the development of Afghanistan in every way possible.

Pakistan’s Incentives for Afghanistan

Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced various incentives for Afghan students, on behalf of Pakistan. Firstly, he said that the number of scholarships for students of higher education has been raised to 4500. These scholarships will be rewarded to Afghan students over a period of three years. Further, this program will begin with 100 Scholarships for Construction and Development.

Secondly, he said Afghan students will be helped in the avenue of vocational training. Thirdly, for the sake of faculty development and teacher training, Pakistan promised to be at the disposal of its brotherly country.

Adding to the conversation Afghan Minister Haqqani thanked Minister Shafqat. Moreover talking of Pak-Afghan ties he said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are two parts of one body that cannot be separated. He iterated that they trust Pakistan more than any other state.

Reflecting on India’s distribution of around 1000 scholarships to Afghan students in the past years, he added that this incentive aimed at promoting Anti-Pakistan sentiments among young Afghans. He further said that the present government is inclined towards promoting pro-Pakistan sentiments among their children. This is via getting them educated in Pakistan.

The Afghan minister iterated that Afghanistan needs help from Pakistan at every step. This is for the country’s development and reconstruction. As the prolonged Afghan war has greatly damaged the country. The Afghan Minister also presented a document of his problems and demands regarding education to the Federal Minister of Education Shafqat Mahmood.

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