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ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: Cuba is committed to helping Pakistan in medical education which is evident from the 1,000 scholarships it has offered to the local students.

This was stated by Cuban Ambassador Gustavo Machin Gomez while speaking as chief guest at an orientation session held for Pakistani students leaving for Cuba to pursue medical studies.

The session was arranged by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the Cuban embassy in Islamabad to apprise students about various aspects of the scholarship programme. Similar sessions were also held in Karachi and Lahore.

Highlighting the main features of the programme, the envoy said Pakistani students would receive quality education that was recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and related international bodies.

He said collaboration of Havana in the field of medicine was worldwide and there were 29,000 Cuban health workers active in more than 60 countries, mostly in Latin America and Africa.

Mr Gomez said Pakistani students would receive the best medical education and would be among 27,000 students from around 120 countries studying in Cuba. He said it was for the first time that Muslim students would be pursuing their education in Cuba.

In order to meet the requirements, maximum facilities have been ensured including complete religious and cultural freedom.

The ambassador also appreciated the role of the HEC for undertaking the selection process and supporting students in terms of their travel and monthly stipend.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Member (O&P) HEC, thanked Cuba for offering scholarships to Pakistani students.

He also asked students to take maximum benefits from the opportunities extended by the Cuban and Pakistani governments and act as ambassadors of their country.