Date: December 02, 2016
Location: Higher Education Commission
Remarks as prepared
Thanks to Dr. Ahmed at the Higher Education Commission and Rita at USEFP for all of your hard work and effort in supporting our scholars as they head out to the United States and our alumni upon their return to Pakistan. What a great opportunity for alumni of U.S. programs, specifically of the Fulbright and Humphrey programs, to get together to share experiences and discuss some of the most pressing issues influencing society today.
The people of Pakistan and the United States share a fundamental desire for stability, the hope for peace, and support for regional and global economic development, and it is through education that we are able to achieve these goals. Education provides a window into the world. We see through the eyes of scholars and scientists, through the words of literary greats and creative minds. It is the foundation upon which we build greater cultural understanding and through this understanding, we are motivated to make change and gain skills to make a positive impact in our own communities, especially here in Pakistan.
In particular, exchange programs supported by the United States have been a successful way for Americans and Pakistanis to increase mutual understanding. Pakistani students go to the United States, learn and share with American students, and return to their friends and family in Pakistan. Upon their return, these same individuals share their experiences and what they’ve learned with everyone around them, influencing their family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The alumni also give back to society as active members of PUAN [pwan], continuing to learn, collaborate, and advance society.
The United States is committed to supporting students who have that desire to learn and the motivation to change the world for the better. Every year, more than 1,000 Pakistanis travel to the United States on academic and professional exchange programs. We put more funding toward Fulbright scholarships in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world, and we have also welcomed Pakistan’s commitment to invest in Fulbright scholars over the next 5 years.
Congratulations to you on all of your achievements and all of your successes. You are real-life examples of those who have taken the gift of education and maximized on the opportunities that a solid education provides.