ISLAMABAD, June 5 (APP): The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Major General (Retd) Shakeel Hussain Sunday reiterated Pakistan’s continued support to Sri Lanka in enhancing younger generation’s nation building capacities with better educational opportunities.

He was speaking at an award of educational scholarships worth SL Rs. 3.84 million to 160 bright Sri Lankan students of O/Level and A/Level under Jinnah Educational Scholarship Programme of the Government of Pakistan, said a press release received here.

Minister for City Planning and Water Supply Rauf Hakeem was the chief guest on the occasion, while guests of honours included State Minister for National Integration and Reconciliation A.H.M. Fouzi, Secretary Higher Education, D.C. Dissanayake, Vice Chancellor Buddhist and Pali University Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero, Senior government officials and Vice Chancellors of the leading universities. senior officers of the High Commission as well as other dignitaries participated in the ceremony besides a large number of students and media persons.

The high commissioner, in his brief remarks, congratulated the students qualified for scholarship for the current year.

He said people in Pakistan greatly admired Sri Lanka’s remarkable progress in the fields of health and education.

He underlined that Pakistan seeks to expand its cooperation with Sri Lanka in the field of education and hoped that cooperation with Sri Lanka in education sector would not only help improve standards of schools but also the curriculum.

The high commissioner stated that Pakistan had a number of
world class universities, with world renowned research facilities in
the fields of particle physics, industrial chemistry, bio-technology, genetic engineering, information technology and management sciences etc. I am sure our universities can accommodate more Sri Lankan students in these diverse fields, he added.

The chief guest Rauf Hakeem praised the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah which emancipated the people of sub continent from colonialism.

He said that Pakistan government’s support in the education of the needy Sri Lanka students shows its commitment toward the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Rauf Hakeem further said that Pakistan was a close friend of Sri Lanka and had helped her in times of crisis.

He said that this scholarship programme has benefitted students from all communities for past 10 years to create better professionals amongst the young citizens for the future benefit of this country.

The Government of Pakistan is awarding Jinnah Educational Scholarships since 2005. During past 11 years, scholarships worth approx Rs. 45 million have been awarded for promoting bright Sri Lankan students.

The scholarships are awarded on the basis of a strict criteria involving merit and need for financial assistance. Under the programme, each successful student receives stipend as assistance for one year for pursuing their studies.

The scholarships are named after the great statesman and father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

In addition to the Jinnah Educational Scholarships, every year Government of Pakistan offers fully funded scholarships in medicine, engineering, pharmacy and dentistry to Sri Lankan students to pursue higher professional education in Pakistan.