The future of many Pakistani nationals studying in China is at stake and they are living a dilapidated life as the Punjab government hasn’t yet released funds for them, said a report by BBC Urdu’s Nazish Faiz.
The former Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif initiated the Chinese Language Scholarship Programme, under which, 500 students from across the Punjab province were sent to various Chinese Universities for two years in four phases.
The students of first three batches returned to the Country following the completion of their courses; however, 150 students of the fourth batch are still in China.
Since the incumbent Punjab government hasn’t issued funds for them for the programme for last two months, they are forced to deal with a worrisome situation.
Ahsan Naeem, a Pakistani student from Shanghai University, told the BBC Urdu reporter Nazish Faiz that after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) took over in Punjab, funds for them under the scholarship programme were ceased to be released.
Ahsan Naeem told that he used to receive 2,800 Chinese Yuan (60,000 Pakistani rupees) every month through the Bank of Punjab. He claimed that he wasn’t granted the required money in November last year as well; however, funds were released after the report surfaced in media.
But again they haven’t received any funds since April, and they are bound to borrow some money from their Chinese friends, Ahsan Naeem said. He said that they also have to ask their families back in Pakistan to send them money for livelihood; however, he added, some of the students hailing from middle-class background are unable to do so, and even they used to send money received from the scholarship to their families in Pakistan.
Ahsan Naeem said that Shanghai is a very expensive city, and they desperately require money.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson to Punjab Chief Minister Dr Shahbaz Gill has said that the provincial government has released funds worth Rs 200 million for Pakistani students in China.
پنجاب حکومت نے چین میں سکالرشپ پر زیر تعلیم طلبہ و طالبات کے لیے 200ملین کے فنڈز جاری کر دیئے ہیں. https://t.co/l2YDJVxoYA
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) May 31, 2019