ISLAMABAD - Higher Education Commission on Thursday gave a good send-off to 21 Pakistani scholars proceeding to China under “Inherit of Pak-China Friendship, Hundred Talent Study Financing Programme.”

Wang Zhuhai, Chinese Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Chinese Embassy was chief guest on the occasion. Lt. Gen (Retd) Muhammad Asghar, Executive Director HEC, Li Zhihuai, General Manager CRBC, diplomats, dignitaries, and HEC’s senior management graced the occasion along with the selected scholars.

A statement issued said that HEC and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), a state-owned company of the People’s Republic of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2017 to initiate the Inherit of Pak-China Friendship, Hundred Talent Study Financing Programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Zhuhai stressed the need for promoting people-to-people exchange between China and Pakistan through initiatives like the HEC-CRBC Scholarship Programme.  He said that human resource cooperation between the two countries is vital to enhance the bilateral relations. He affirmed that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will further cement the relations, adding that the project has entered a new phase as a large number of Chinese companies are investing in the project.

In his remarks, the Executive Director termed the award of scholarships a good opportunity for the scholars to not only acquire education but also to learn Chinese culture and traditions. 

He advised the students not to limit the scope of their education to a degree and expand their canvas to learning about the vast spectrum of engineering, covering logistics, infrastructure, and impact. Shedding light on the evolution of transportation sector over the years, he said the high-speed railway track transportation system of China has shrunk the distances and taught the world a lesson about importance of time.

“Go with an aim to learn from China as to how the Chinese manage time, work as a team, and come up with masterpieces” he emphasised.

Lt. Gen. (Retd) Asghar extended gratitude to Chinese government and CRBC for provision of education opportunities to Pakistani scholars. He said about 25,000 Pakistani students are currently studying in China and the number is likely to grow. HEC will continue supporting the Chinese Embassy and companies like CRBC in creating study opportunities for Pakistani youth, he asserted.

Earlier, Zhihuai highlighted the important role of CRBC in carrying out development work in Pakistan. He said CRBC is one of the state-owned companies in China which earliest entered the project contracting market in Pakistan. 

He added that the company mainly participated in the highway projects in Sindh and successively completed 4A project in Sindh and Sukkur Bypass Project. He also highlighted the role of CRBC in Raikot-Khunjerab Section Project. 

Till now, he informed, the CRBC has completed the improvement and realignment of Karakoram Highway at Attabad Lake Project.

Describing the background of the Inherit of Pak-China Friendship, Hundred Talent Study Financing Programme, Raza Chohan, Director General (Human Resource Development) HEC said that as many as 29 Pakistani students have so far been sent to study Transportation Engineering in Southeast University, China. He maintained that first batch of 10 Pakistani scholars was selected in 2017. 

These engineers have successfully completed their Master’s in Transportation Engineering from Southeast University, China and returned to join their parent institutions in Pakistan. 

The second batch of Pakistani engineers who went to South East University China included 19 scholars. 

During the fall 2019 session, a total of 21 students have been selected under the programme and they are proceeding to South East University, China.