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Pakistan offers 50 scholarships for Palestinian students

Pakistani students of Karachi University carry placards during a demonstration against in support of Palestinians on 17 April 2018, in Karachi, Pakistan [RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images]
Pakistani students of Karachi University carry placards during a demonstration in support of Palestinians on 17 April 2018 in Karachi, Pakistan [RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images]

Pakistan’s Minister of Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has offered 50 scholarships for Palestinian students to study in Pakistani universities within the ministry’s remit.

Hussain made the offer to Palestine’s Ambassador to Pakistan Ahmed Rabei in a meeting in Islamabad today. In return, Rabei pledged five million Palestinian olive saplings to Pakistan in support of the country’s tree plantation campaign.

Rabei noted that some 50,000 Palestinian students have already graduated from educational institutions in Pakistan and used the skills to contribute to the development of Palestine.

For the 2019-2020 academic year, Pakistani universities, including the University of Lahore, offered five-year scholarships to students specialising in medicine, pharmacy, or dentistry with a score of 80 per cent or higher in school leaver exams.

Pakistan’s science and technology minister, Hussain, added that the entire nation remains in solidarity with the Muslims of Palestine.

READ: Pakistan reopens Iran border amid coronavirus fears

Spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Office Aisha Farooqui said, in a statement on 29 January, after the announcement of Trump’s Middle East ‘peace plan’, that “Pakistan has consistently supported a two-state solution, as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions”.

Adding that “Pakistan continues to support a just and lasting solution of the Palestinian issue, through dialogue and negotiations, that leads to the realisation of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including the right of self-determination.”

While, on 3 March, the Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser said Pakistan would never have relations with Israel before the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Adding that Pakistan will continue to raise its voice against the Israeli occupation and pressure the international community to condemn Israeli atrocities in Palestine on all international and regional conferences.

Rabei responded by calling Pakistan “the most important country in the Islamic world”, adding that “its role is commendable for the unity of the Muslim community”.

Noting that Palestinians have considered Pakistan their home, and that unity and solidarity between Muslim countries is essential for resolving disputes and problems faced by their populations.

Rabei added that Palestinians are grateful for the Pakistani people’s unwavering support for the freedom movement and called for enhanced parliamentary interaction between the two countries.

READ: Pakistan will not have ties with Israel until Palestinian state forms 

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