Pakistan Suspends Allama Iqbal Scholarships For Afghan Students Amid Taliban Takeover

(MENAFN- Tribal News Network) Waheedullah Weyarh

In 2009, Pakistan initiated the“Allama Iqbal Scholarship for Afghan Students,” providing a valuable opportunity for thousands of Afghan students to pursue higher education in Pakistan annually. The scholarship program encompassed 800 seats for undergraduate studies, 150 for master's degrees, and 150 for doctoral programs. The scholarship program had been a beacon of hope for Afghan students, enabling them to study a wide array of fields, including medicine, engineering, politics, economics, and literature.

The application process for the scholarships involved a rigorous selection procedure. Shortlisted candidates were required to sit for an examination in various provinces of Afghanistan, including Kabul, Qandahar, Jalalabad, and Hirat, among others, under the supervision of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan.

Following the examination, successful candidates were granted the opportunity to study in Pakistan for six months, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the Pakistani culture and education system.

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However, the recent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has cast a shadow over the future of the Allama Iqbal Scholarship program. Pakistan has refrained from announcing the scholarship program in light of concerns that the Taliban would pose obstacles to women's education. Given the Taliban's stance on restricting female education within their own country, the prospects of Afghan women being allowed to study abroad appear dim.

Scholarships hold immense potential to transform students' lives, helping them progress in their academic journeys and transition into successful professional careers. Aside from alleviating some of the financial burdens associated with education, scholarships serve as significant accomplishments on a student's resume, leaving a lasting impression on admissions committees and potential employers. Being a scholarship recipient is a testament to a student's academic prowess and unwavering dedication to excellence in their chosen field of study.

Education is undoubtedly a costly investment, and while parents aspire to provide their children with the best possible education, financial constraints often stand in the way. From exorbitant tuition fees to the high cost of housing, the expenses associated with university education can be overwhelming.

Scholarships play a pivotal role in alleviating these financial burdens , offering highly motivated and deserving students the opportunity to pursue their educational dreams. Unlike student loans, scholarships do not require recipients to repay the funds, making them a vital resource for students seeking quality education, whether at local or international institutions.

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