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Gulf Daily News: University Soon For Pakistani Expats

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The Pakistan Embassy has already put in a request for a plot of land from the Bahraini authorities and is also in talks with education providers outside the country, according to community welfare attaché Maqsood Qadir Shah. 

'We have leading educational firms from Pakistan like the Bahria College that are ready to invest in this project,' he said, on the sidelines of the Pakistan Embassy open house held yesterday. 

A general lack of higher education facilities in Bahrain, specifically targeted at children of the country's third largest expatriate community, was a major concern raised by community members during the open house session, according to Mr Shah.

'Things are moving in a positive direction with this proposal,' he said.

'The ambassador has openly discussed and explained this to the community, which was a big relief to them.

'This idea may soon become a reality, if things go smoothly with our hope of procuring a plot of land in Bahrain.'

Mr Shah said that the project was designed to benefit residents, who did not have the money to send their children abroad.

'A good number of Pakistanis, who are long-term residents and belong to the middle and low income groups, will benefit from this project,' he said.

'It will be a blessing for those who are working here for the long term '“ in the security services, for example '“ and who do not earn enough to send their children back to Pakistan or outside Bahrain for their higher studies.

'At the same time, this will be a major boost for the community as a whole.

'It will also add to the excellent bilateral ties that the two nations enjoy.'

Meanwhile, embassy head of chancery Muhammed Ahad said that everything possible was being done to help Pakistanis, who are Bahraini passport holders, travel to Pakistan.

'The number of Pakistanis, who have Bahraini passport, is between 25,000 and 30,000,' he said.

'This includes 4,000 to 5,000 who are on the waiting list.'

Pakistan does not allow dual citizenship, hence Pakistanis who secure a Bahraini passport have to surrender their Pakistani nationality, Mr Ahad explained.

'However, they still have their National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOPS) '“ the identity document for Pakistani expats '“ which has long term validity and helps them to travel home when needed,' he said. 

'Either way, the embassy is supportive '“ we do everything necessary to help them travel.'

During the event, which was attended by a cross section of the community from labourers to businessmen and bankers, Pakistan Ambassador Muhammed Saeed Khan shared his embassy's plans for the immediate future.

A Pakistani delegation would soon visit Bahrain to encourage the recruitment of doctors from Pakistan, he said, adding that he was 'extremely happy' that Bahrain's Interior Ministry Ombudsman had decided to begin their outreach programme with his community.

Mr Shah also said that the embassy hoped to arrange the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sherif to Bahrain in the near future.

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=391874 

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