ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: At an Inauguration Dinner, the German Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) in collaboration with its implementation partner National Dialogue Forum (NDF) started their new flagship project Hanns Seidel Scholarship Program (HSSP): Support for Afghan Refugees in Pakistan. Through this scholarship program, extensive support will be provided to registered Afghan refugees studying at Pakistani universities. Along with financial and conceptual support, the scholarship holders will also be given the opportunity to equip themselves with professional skills through on-the-job training.
Dr. Steffen Kudella, Resident Representative of HSF Pakistan, stressed that education is the most sustainable form of international cooperation and political stabilization. In his welcome address, he said: Afghanistan needs young people who are talented, well-educated, professionally experienced, and contributing to the inclusive rebuilding of their home country. Afghanistan needs agents of positive change! Through the Hanns Seidel Scholarship Program, the National Dialogue Forum and Hanns Seidel Foundation support the education and training of such agents of positive change in Pakistan.
The Executive Director of NDF, Mr. Sheharyar Khan, also addressed the guest and highlighted: This generous scholarship is an opportunity for Afghan students to excel in their academic pursuits and play a much-needed leadership role in the rebuilding of their country.
The event was joined by a prestigious set of people from politics, embassies, academia, think tanks, and international and national NGOs. The guests of honor included H.E. Mr. Bernhard Schlagheck, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Afghanistan, H.E. Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan, Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and Member of Pakistan-Afghanistan Friendship Group of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
The first 23 selected HSSP scholarship holders also attended the event and were presented with HSSP Laptops for their academic studies by the German Ambassador.
HSSP includes around 30 full financial grants positions per year for all Afghan students with above-average academic records, volunteer experience, and democratic and regional interests. It covers the full duration of their undergraduate or graduate degrees at HEC recognized universities all over Pakistan. The scholarships also include conceptual support on a range of relevant topics such as social cohesion, human rights, political systems, digital and soft skills, and research knowledge.