United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, along with U.S. Defense Representative Pakistan Lieutenant General Anthony Rock, Consul General for Peshawar Jon Danilowicz and Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Thomas Leary, visited Peshawar to meet with government and military leaders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The visit of the U.S. delegation highlights the ongoing cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan governments in the region. The trip included a series of high-level meetings with provincial government leadership, as well as an interview with Peshawar journalists, to discuss ongoing efforts to improve the lives of KP and FATA citizens. Since October 2009, the United States has provided over $1.58 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to the region, which the Ambassador underscored to the press.
To conclude the trip, the Ambassador hosted an Iftar dinner at the U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar, attended by local government officials, educators, administrators, and civil society leaders from KP and FATA. In the spirit of Ramadan, Americans and Pakistanis shared the Iftar meal to end the day’s fast, as well as to celebrate the 4th of July, which is the date that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence for the United States.
As the Ambassador stated in his Ramadan message, “In the United States, nearly three million Muslims call America their home and enrich our country by sharing the traditions of Ramadan as families gather, friends host Iftars, and meals are shared, much like here in Pakistan. Ramadan’s practice of intense devotion, reflection and fasting reminds us to live our faiths fully, lift up humanity and to treat each other with respect. It is because of mutual respect, regardless of one’s faith, that we will be able to change our communities, and our world, to make it a more secure and peaceful place.”
For more information on U.S. assistance to KP/FATA, please visithttp://islamabad.usembassy.gov/fact-sheets.html.