ISLAMABAD - The 4th National Steering Committee meeting  was held at Higher Education Commission, Islamabad to review the implementation of 1000 Cuban Scholarship Program, here on Monday.   The meeting was chaired by Prof Dr. Atta-ur- Rahman, Chairman Higher Education Commission, and attended by H.E The Ambassador of Cuba, Gustavo Machin Gomez, Prof. Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi  the Executive Director Higher Education Commission , Prof Dr. Syed Sibitul Hasnain President PM&DC, Prof Dr. Masood Hameed Khan ,Vice Chancellor  DOW University of Health Sciences & Vice President PM&DC, Dr. Zafar ul Haq Lodhi ,DDG Health, Representative of Ministry of Health. The Committee was informed that 1000 Cuban Scholarship program was implemented by HEC on the PM's directive and in close coordination with Embassy of Cuba and all other relevant Pakistan Government departments.    A brief overview of the progress of the Program was presented. Currently 332 students of Batch I are pursuing their medical program at Cuba. Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman commended the Cuban government for offering medical scholarships to Pakistani students and requested Cuban Ambassador to convey the Pakistani nation thanks for providing such a great gift to Pakistan. Cuban Ambassador Mr. Gustavo Machin Gomez said that 1000 Cuban scholarship program for Pakistani students by Cuban Government is a commitment of Cuban people towards their Pakistani friends. He emphasized that in spite of the fact that Cuba is a developing country, which has lot of economic sanctions, is ready to provide all possible support and facilities in order to make this scholarship program a success. The Cuban Ambassador also appreciated the efforts of Higher Education Commission and Government of Pakistan, in ensuring the implementation of the program. Dr. Syed Sibtul Hasnain, President PM&DC presented an overview of the report of PM&DC delegation, who visited Cuba in March 2008. He informed the Committee about the findings of the PM&DC delegation on the medical education facilities being provided to the Pakistani students at Cuba and the process and procedure of their registration with PM&DC and their certification to practice in Pakistan on return. Prof. Dr. Masood Hameed Vice President PM&DC, who was part of the HEC- PM&DC delegation apprised the Committee in detail about the medical facilities.   He stated that Cuba has an excellent health care system in the world. It was decided in the meeting that Cuban Scholarship Program would be implemented in true letter and spirit in close coordination with PM&DC and Ministry of Health. It was also decided that exact modalities for improving the medical facilities for Pakistani students at Cuba would be worked out by PM&DC and Ministry of Health soon and would be communicated to HEC and the Cuban Government. The Committee offered condolence on the sad demise of Prof. Dr.  Iftikhar, HEC Distinguished National Professor and also appreciated his efforts for his pro-active role in the implementation of the scholarship program. Dr. Iftikhar was the member of National Steering Committee of the program and had also visited Cuba as part of HEC- PM&DC delegation.