Educational exchanges important component of Pak-US relations: Asad

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WASHINGTON Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, Friday told a visiting group of 98 Pakistani students to make best use of their stay in the United States (US) by enhancing their learning abilities, capacity building and active engagement with the local community. The students are here under the Global Undergraduate Exchange Programme (Global-UGRAD), which works under the aegis of US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its inception 10 years ago, the programme has supported over 2,000 young leaders from across Pakistan. Participants of this year’s programme hail from different areas of Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA and belong to multifarious academic fields ranging from engineering, business, medicine and social sciences. The students will go to 58 different host institutions in 31 states across the United States Ambassador Asad Khan, who hosted a luncheon for the student at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, expressed the hope that this programme would help polish their professional and leadership skills. Mary Kirk, Director of the Office of Academic Exchange Programs and Kerri Hannan, Director of the South and Central Asia Press and Public Diplomacy Office at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs, were also in attendance, as the programme marked its 10th anniversary. Both thanked the Ambassador for welcoming the participants of the programme. They briefed the Ambassador and the participants about the programme and its history. In his remarks, Ambassador Khan briefed the students on a range of vital foreign policy issues. He pointed out that educational exchanges were an important component of the seven decades of USPakistani bilateral relationship. The Pakistani envoy was confident that the long-standing relationship would be fortified in the years to come.—APP