ISLAMABAD - The British High Commission is celebrating 35 years of its flagship Chevening scholarship Programme in Pakistan this year.  As part of the celebrations, Chevening alumni from Pakistan took part in the global Chevening Relay earlier this week, which featured a special golden baton travelling across Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi.  Alumni from across the three cities enjoyed posing with the baton for pictures with fellow scholars.

The Chevening Relay aims to encourage Chevening alumni to collaborate, network, travel, be creative, and take collective responsibility for common goals. In addition, as part of the 35 years of Chevening celebrations, 35 alumni have been selected as Chevening Change makers from across the globe that are making a significant impact in their communities.  The 35 change makers include two female Chevening alumni - Abia Akram (Director STEP-Special Talent Exchange Programme) and Amna Zamir Shah (Additional District and Sessions Judge, Gilgit-Baltistan) from Pakistan.

 The British Deputy High Commissioner Richard Crowder said: “We are delighted to celebrate 35 years of the Chevening programme in Pakistan and around the globe. For the last 35 years, over 1,600 alumni from Pakistan have become ambassadors for Pakistan in the UK and for the UK in Pakistan. They have made a great contribution to the prosperity and progress of Pakistan and risen to the very top of their profession including in the media, bureaucracy, judiciary, banking and public service,” he added.

“For those looking to advance their career further, I would encourage them to apply for the Chevening scholarship when the next application window opens. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a fully-funded scholarship to the best universities in the UK,” the envoy said. Director STEP and Chevening alumni Abia Akram said: “Being the first woman with a disability to receive the Chevening award and completing a Masters degree in Gender and International Development from the University of Warwick was a humbling experience.

My study in the UK enabled me to envision the leadership role of women with disabilities who are the most marginalized segment of society. Being recognized as a Change maker is an honor and I would encourage women to apply for Chevening, as it is the most prestigious scholarship in Pakistan.”

 Additional District and Sessions Judge and Chevening alumni Amna Zamir Shah said: “While my environment posed a multitude of challenges, I saw a great opportunity to inspire, where others hadn’t and this became central to my personal drive to strengthen myself and overcome challenges that came my way.

Therefore, I would say; if you want to bring a lasting impact in your communities and professions, be the change yourself.

Start by enlightening yourself, learn new skills and educate yourself, in an effort to become more self-aware. Lastly, use these skills and adopt your knowledge to constantly grow as a leader, as at the end of the day, you are your own best investment.”

Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Margaret Adamson felicitated the Pakistani on the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the father of the nation.

“I wish everyone in Pakistan a happy festive season on the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah’s vision for a Pakistan of tolerance and freedom of belief remains as important today as it was at the formation of Pakistan in 1947. As a long-standing friend of Pakistan, Australia supports this country’s ongoing efforts to realize this vision. Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad,” said the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Margaret Adamson.