islamabad - The inaugural Asma Jahangir Scholarship was awarded yesterday to Sana Gul by British High Commissioner Thomas Drew. The annual scholarship, which was launched earlier this year, honours the legacy of the late human rights champion Asma Jahangir . Each year, the scholarship will be awarded to the top-ranking female applicant in the competitive recruitment process.

 The Chevening scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year Masters programme at any UK university. The scholarship programme provides a unique opportunity to future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, to build networks, to experience UK culture, and to form lasting positive relationships with the UK. This year, 62 Pakistanis have been awarded Chevening scholarships, including 23 women.

 Presenting the new scholarship, the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said: “It is an honour to mark the extraordinary legacy of Asma Jahangir by awarding this new scholarship to the top Pakistani female Chevening scholar. Asma Jahangir was a remarkable woman. She was a champion of human rights and fought for the rights of women, children and oppressed people.” He added: “Congratulations to Sana Gul for being the first winner of this prestigious award. It is an honour that Asma Jahangir’s family has joined us today and I am grateful for their support in the creation of a scholarship in her name as part of the UK Chevening Scholarship Programme.

 Speaking at the event, Sana Gul said: “I still remember the words of Asma Jahangir : “through hardships, strong people find their strength and you are the chosen one. Thank you Chevening for the journey of living my dreams to reality by continuing her noble missions of empowering women through education.”

 Munizae Jehangir said: “As the family of Asma Jahangir , we congratulate Sana Gul for receiving the best female Chevening Scholar 2018/19. We thank the British government for starting this new scholarship award to honour Asma Jahangir who always said that “it will be the women of Pakistan that will bring about real change.” This scholarship will empower women to improve the lives of others. 

This year, 64 Chevening scholars and fellows will go to study in diverse fields including law, communications, public service, technology, development and public policy.  Chevening alumni consist of over 1,650 former students, including senior journalists, civil servants, professionals, politicians, and members of society from all walks of life. Applications for the 2019/2020 Chevening Scholarships can be submitted through the online application system from 6 August 2018 until 6 November 2018.