ISLAMABAD   -   President Dr Arif Alvi has reiterated Pakistan’s offer to provide virtual and online education facilities to the students of Afghanistan through Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and the Virtual University of Pakistan (VUP). The offer was made when the Afghan minister of Education had visited the president and said that higher education was in dire straits in Afghanistan

While talking to Mufti Taqi Usmani after being informed that Mufti Sahib was going to Afghanistan for discussions with the leadership, the president said that since Afghanistan does not possess nationwide internet connectivity, therefore, the education materials of AIOU and VUP can initially be communicated to Afghan students, both male and female, through its television network.

The president said that the government and the state of Pakistan believed in providing equal educational opportunities for women, at par with its male population. Iqra in Quran is for all Muslims and is not gender specific. He further said that keeping in view the specific socio-political concerns of Afghanistan; women could be imparted education by making special arrangements as deemed appropriate and as was initially pledged by the current Afghan leadership.

He further observed   if Afghanistan was taking measures to provide education to its female population according to its own preferences, then this far-reaching initiative should also be properly publicized through all channels of media and communication tools to rest of the world to allay their concerns in this regard. Pakistan wants peace and development in Afghanistan and it cannot happen without development of their own human resource, he added.

The president also communicated govt of Pakistan’s offers of providing online and virtual education facilities to Afghanistan during his meetings with the Afghan ambassador, Afghan counsel generals and with other Afghan government leaders, directly or indirectly, through his interaction with them on various occasions.