PESHAWAR: About 150 students from northwestern Pakistan traveled to Afghanistan this month to take part in tests that could win them Afghan government scholarships for higher education, particularly in medicine.
The Afghan government pays for 104 scholarships for Pakistanis every year, the Afghan consulate in Peshawar said.
“Medical education is expensive in Pakistan, so we decided to pursue education in Afghanistan,“ Sana Gul told Arab News.
Gul was among 150 young Pakistanis who left for Kabul last Saturday to attend the scholarship tests.
The group included 11 female students who want to study medicine.
Gul said that the Pakistanis are hoping that security will improve in Afghanistan, and that peace talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government in Qatar will end with a power-sharing deal.
“We believe the peace process will end with good news, so we are traveling to Kabul,” said Gul, who is accompanied by her sister, Spogami. Both have passed 12th-grade exams.
Their father, Farman Khan, a teacher in the Mardan district, said that his daughters made the decision to go to Afghanistan.
“We allowed them to decide for themselves and we will stand by them,” he said, adding that he believes the region is now safe “for those who seek education.”
Arshad Mehsud from South Waziristan also traveled to Afghanistan for the scholarship test in the hope of studying medicine.
“There is no doctor in my village,” he said. “So after completing this degree, I will come back to serve the people of Waziristan.”