Education major plank of Pak-US relationship: ambassador

54 Pakistan students arrive in United States under Global Undergraduate Exchange Program.

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan has termed educational cooperation as a major plank and a foundational principle of Pak-US relationship.

Addressing a group of 54 Pakistan students who have arrived in the United States on Global Undergraduate Exchange Program, he said education is connecting the youth of the two countries.

He said Pak-US Alumni network has grown to 39000 students and is a huge network. He said nearly 8,000 Pakistanis were enrolled in the U.S. during academic year 2021-22. This represents a 17 percent increase from the previous year.  

Thanking US government and IREX for strong commitment towards education exchange programs with Pakistan, the Ambassador said such programs are connecting the youth and resulting in strong networks among the future builders of the nation.

He said that Pak-US relationship is an important relationship and we have invested in multiple disciplines.

He said students are the ambassadors of the country. He advised students to present their country and its ethos with confidence, pride and honestly.

Masood Khan also advised the students to avoid generalization of US society and keenly observe various facets of US life and learn about those strengths that have made the country a leading nation of the world.

Speaking on the occasion, Julia Findlay, Branch Chief, South and Central Asia Fulbright Programs, welcomed Pakistani students to the United States.

Highlighting the importance of Pak-US relationship, she said that people-to-people exchanges and collaboration through education was critical in strengthening bilateral relations.

Recalling celebration of 75 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries last year, Ms. Findley said that in 2022 the two countries celebrated important milestones on 75th anniversary of Pakistan’s birth as a nation and 75th anniversary of the bilateral relations.

There were many event held last year to highlight the depth and breadth of our relationship and in 2023 we continue to foster the relationship. She also thanked US Congress for providing funding for the exchange programs. 

“The Global UGRAD Pakistan program is a key component of our higher education cooperation,” she said. 

Ms. Findley informed that Pakistani students would be studying in 48 different colleges in 33 different states of the US.

She congratulated the students on being selected for the program and expressed the hope that the program would prove beneficial towards their academic pursuits as well as building networks with their US counterparts. 

Earlier, Anne Seshadri, Deputy Director, South and Central Asia Press and Public Diplomacy Office, also spoke on the occasion and highlighted that Pakistan was the biggest beneficiary of US student exchange programs

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