Masood Khan urges Pakistan-bound US diplomats to build people-to-people linkages

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan, Wednesday met 16 US foreign service officers selected for postings at American diplomatic missions in Pakistan, urging them to build people-to-people linkages and strong economic ties between the two countries.

The two countries have stood side by side with each other in their decades-long relationship,” he told the officers picked for serving at the US Embassy in Islamabad and US Consulates in other cities, according to a press release of the Pakistani embassy here.

“Your efforts would bring the two countries especially the people of Pakistan and the United States closer to each other,” the Pakistani envoy said at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) where these officers are undergoing a 32-week Urdu language course and Culture Training.

Speaking in Urdu, Ambassador Masood Khan urged them to employ the tool of public diplomacy to dispel mutual misperceptions and misgivings.

The two countries, he said, were making efforts to strengthen their economic ties and give muscle to the existing relationship in the non-security areas.

In his remarks, the Ambassador highlighted the strengths of the country with a special focus on its untapped potential, natural resources, geography and rich cultural heritage.

Educational cooperation, he said, was an important plank of the bilateral relationship that helps Pakistani youth to contribute towards socio-economic progress.

In this regard, he highlighted the important role being played by a strong network of 39,000 alumni who benefitted from various educational institutions and seats of learning in the United States

Our target is to bring one thousand Pakistani students every year so that they are able to benefit from US expertise in advanced disciplines, he said.

Tabbasum Sohail, supervisor of Northeast Asian languages, briefed the Ambassador about the Urdu language and culture course which was mandatory for the designated US diplomats.

Earlier, Ambassador Joan A. Polaschik, Director FSI, briefed the Ambassador about various training programmes at the institute.

The two sides also discussed possibilities of forging collaboration between the Foreign Service Academy of Pakistan and the US Foreign Service Institute, the press release said.

By Perviz Iqbal