ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain on Tuesday directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and other stakeholders to resolve visa and travel-related issues being faced by Pakistani students in China due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister issued the direction at a meeting with a delegation of Pakistani students who returned from China in the middle of their studies after the Covid-19 outbreak two years ago and remain stuck in Pakistan since then.

Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HEC, Aviation Division and senior officers of the ministry were present.

The representative of the foreign affairs ministry informed the meeting that in the first phase China had given a list of 251 students to Pakistan out of which 60 per cent students were reached out.

The minister directed the HEC to use all resources in reaching out to the students who have not yet been contacted and also to set up an effective coordination mechanism between stakeholders for the exchange of necessary details.

Considering the financial constraints of the students, the minister directed the authorities of the education ministry for working out a mechanism whereby the government will assist the students by sharing related costs involved.

He also directed Pakistan’s education attaché to Beijing to play a central coordinating role and follow up with the Chinese authorities to resolve the issues of the students.

It is pertinent to mention that due to the zero Covid-19 tolerance policy of the Chinese government, air space for regular flights and option of road travel are restricted.

Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2022

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