President Dr Arif Alvi Monday reiterated Pakistan’s offer to provide virtual and online education facilities to the Afghan students through the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and the Virtual University of Pakistan (VUP). Talking to Mufti Taqi Usmani, after being informed that Mufti Sahib was going to Afghanistan for discussions with the leadership, the president said since Afghanistan did not possess nationwide internet connectivity, therefore, initially the education materials of AIOU and VUP could be communicated to the Afghan students, both male and female, through its television network.
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, the President Secretariat Press Wing said in a press release.
On various occasions, the president had communicated the Government of Pakistan’s offers of providing online and virtual education facilities to Afghanistan during his meetings with the Afghan ambassador and counsel generals, and with other Afghan government leadership, directly or indirectly, through his interaction with them. The president said 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 added.
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 Aghan leadership.
He said Islam emphasized upon imparting education to all without making any distinction between the men and the women.
He further observed that if Afghanistan was taking measures to provide education to its female population according to its own preferences, then the 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 that regard.Pakistan wanted peace and development in Afghanistan and it could not happen without development of their own human resource, he added.