U.S. Consul General in Peshawar William Martin hosted local government officials including mayors (nazims) and deputy mayors (naib nazims) from across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province at a reception at the Consulate on Thursday evening. The event – the first of its kind since the officials took office in September 2015 – drew elected representatives from as far away as Chitral and DI Khan, along with Provincial Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan.
Consul General Martin congratulated the group on their success in the recent elections and spoke about the fundamental role that local governments play in democracies like the United States and Pakistan. “This is a great opportunity to meet with leaders at the local level and make new friends here,” the Consul General said. “Our partnership with Pakistan has so many aspects – trade, investment, people-to-people exchanges – and now I really appreciate the chance to engage with local government leaders as well.”
The Consul General also highlighted the work that USAID is doing in support of local governments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the recently launched KP Governance Program, a four year, 25 million dollar program to provide training and support to local governments across the province. USAID is also providing assistance to the provincial and local governments through the Citizens’ Voice Project and the Training for Pakistan project.
Following remarks from the Consul General, the guests enjoyed a dinner buffet and had the opportunity to interact with Consulate officials and with their counterparts from across the political spectrum. They exchanged ideas on local government initiatives and shared best practices for strengthening governance at the local level. In total 33 mayors and deputy mayors attended the reception.