ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday reiterated Pakistan’s offer to provide virtual and online education facilities to the students of Afghanistan through Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and the Virtual University of Pakistan (VUP).

He made this offer to Afghanistan through Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani, President Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi, who is visiting Afghanistan and is expected to meet top Afghan leadership, says a press release issued by the Presidency.

Talking to Mufti Usmani, the president said that since Afghanistan did not possess nationwide internet connectivity, initially education materials of AIOU and VUP can be communicated to Afghan students, both male and female, through its television network.

The president said the government and the state of Pakistan believed in providing equal educational opportunities to women, at par with its male population. He said keeping in view the specific socioeconomic norms of Afghanistan, women could be imparted education by making special arrangements as deemed appropriate.

He said there was no bar in Islam on women’s education and if Afghanistan was taking measures to provide education to its female population according to its own preferences, this far-reaching initiative should also be properly publicised through all channels of media and communication tools to rest of the world to allay their concerns.

According to the press release, the president has been making the offer of providing online and virtual education facilities to Afghanistan during his meetings with the Afghan ambassador and counsel generals and other Afghan government leadership, directly or indirectly, on various occasions which has received positive response from Kabul.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2022

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