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Press Release
Democratic Skills Development Workshop for Afghan Students

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: Hanns Seidel Foundation’s (HSF) scholarship initiative for talented Afghan refugee students, Hanns Seidel Scholarship Program (HSSP), organized an interactive Democratic Skills Development Workshop on Pakistan-Afghanistan Region: Historical and Cultural Routes for its scholarship holders.

HSF Pakistan and its implementing partner National Dialogue Forum (NDF) jointly held the international workshop in Islamabad on November 17, 2022. The event was supported by three eminent Afghan civil society representatives and subject experts.

The former Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Pakistan, H.E. Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, extended his gratitude to the people of Pakistan for hosting millions of refugees for more than four decades. He remarked:

The governing systems of the Pakistan-Afghanistan region have been significantly shaped by historical, cultural, and religious influences. The lack of trust between the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan must be repaired via dialogue. The key to bringing both countries together is the educated youth of this region.

Mr. Zia Ul Haq Amir Khel, the former governor of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, discussed the reasons behind Afghanistan's political and governmental system collapse. He stressed the following:

Afghan refugee students must invest a great deal of efforts in their studies and multiply those efforts by connecting with youth back in Afghanistan, who do not have such opportunities. I hope those who have opportunities will return to Afghanistan with new knowledge, ideas, and skills to contribute to regional connectivity and the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Dr. Farah Naz Mustafawi, a human rights activist, highlighted the youth’s important role in bridging gaps between Pakistan and Afghanistan. She stated:

Youth who pursue knowledge and spread it throughout the community can bring change across the Pakistan-Afghanistan region.

The workshop was attended by 14 scholarship holders from across Pakistan to discuss Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, regional challenges, and the way forward to peaceful bilateral ties for more regional stability.

HSSP aims to support talented Afghan students in Pakistan in contributing to the rebuilding of their home country when returning to Afghanistan. The students are officially registered as refugees in Pakistan and enrolled at Pakistani universities. In line with the policies of the Government of Pakistan, HSSP offers financial grants, conceptual support, and professional development opportunities.

You may find event photos and more details at For more information on NDF please visit and HSF Pakistan