(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – A special ceremony was organized by the Pakistan High Commission, at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), on 16th August 2022, Colombo to award bright and deserving A-Level students of Sri Lanka. The ceremony was held in continuation of 76th Independence Day of Pakistan, celebrated on 14th August. Scholarships have been awarded by the Government of Pakistan to aspiring Sri Lankan students of A & O – Level since 2006, and so far, over 2300 Sri Lankan students have benefitted from this program which is named after Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the revered founding father of Pakistan.

H.E. Major General (Retd) Umar Farooq Burki HI (M) welcomed all the guest to the ceremony.  He stated in his welcome remarks that Pakistan has been a proud partner of Sri Lanka in enhancing the capabilities of youth with better educational opportunities. Government of Pakistan has been providing higher education scholarships to Sri Lankan students under different scholarship programs since 1976 including Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP) in the fields of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Engineering, and Allama Iqbal scholarships.

In concluding remarks, H.E. Major General (Retd) Umar Farooq Burki HI (M) thanked the honorable guests for gracing this auspicious occasion. He emphasized upon the importance of the bilateral relationship that both the countries enjoy and the fact that Pakistan aims at strengthening these strong ties manifolds.

The occasion was graced by the Honorable Mr. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Education, as the Chief Guest. The Honorable guest appreciated this gracious gesture from the Government and the people of Pakistan. In his remarks, the chief guest also congratulated the students who were selected for the Jinnah scholarship. The chief guest, paid a rich tribute to the founding father of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah for his efforts in creation of Pakistan quoting starely wolpert from Jinnah of Pakistan “Few individuals significantly alter the cause of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation state, Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all these.” He said that it is a matter of great pleasure that these scholarships are awarded to Sri Lankan students based purely on merit and across all ethnicities. He also recalled the robust Pak-Lanka relations and appreciated the prestigious Jinnah Scholarship scheme which has benefitted numerous Sri Lankan students since 2006.

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