SWAT: The female students, who studied in various Afghan colleges and universities, on Saturday appealed to the government to accommodate them in medical colleges in Pakistan on humanitarian grounds.
Some of the students are from Swat and other areas of Malakand division.
Talking to Dawn here, they said of the total 105 female students, who studied in different medical and dental colleges and universities in Afghanistan, about 50 were from Malakand division, including Swat, Buner, Dir, and other areas.
They said after they were banned from getting education by the Taliban government, they had to return to their homes quite uncertain about their future.
The female students said they tried to meet Pakistani officials for help, but nobody paid heed to them despite several attempts.
“I completed the second year in Doctor of Medicine and was going to enter the third year, but we were barred from appearing in the examination as the Taliban government announced to ban the women’s education,” said Salina Bibi, a resident of Durushkhela, Matta. She was a student of Spin Ghar Medical College in Jalalabad city of Afghanistan. She said she had a dream to become a cardiologist.
Salina Bibi said: “We had taken admission before the Taliban took over, and later, the Taliban government also allowed us to continue study, but all of a sudden, the Afghanistan’s higher education minister banned women from universities.” She added that she was in depression after she was stopped from getting education.
The students said they faced various issues after returning from Afghanistan and were dealing with depression and other health-related issues.
“We don’t know what to do and where to go,” Nadra Mushtaq, another student from Juwar area of Buner, told Dawn.
She said she and her other friends passed through a tough time as their dreams of becoming doctors were shattered. “We appeal to our government and the United Nations to help us continue our studies in the medical colleges and universities of Pakistan so that our precious time is not wasted and our future is protected,” she said, adding women’s rights organisations should also take notice of their issue and help them in getting scholarships so they could continue their education.
The female students said education was their right, but they were forcibly deprived of this right and pushed into darkness.
They also appealed to the Taliban government to allow women to get higher education.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2023
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