During a February 17-18 visit to Islamabad, U.S. Department of State Special Representative to Muslim Communities Shaarik Zafar met with government officials, students, private sector representatives, and members of civil society to discuss mutual interests and goals.
“The United States and Pakistan share a strong interest in building a better understanding of each other’s cultures,” Special Representative Zafar said. “This visit offered me a valuable opportunity to learn more about the steps being taken by Pakistani religious leaders, government officials, and youth to promote tolerance, education, and economic opportunities here in Pakistan.”
Special Representative Zafar engaged in discussions about entrepreneurship and religious tolerance with students at the International Islamic University, Islamabad and the National University of Sciences and Technology. He also went to the Faisal Mosque, which he previously had visited as a child decades ago.
As part of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs, Special Representative Zafar drives the U.S. Department of State’s engagement with Muslim communities around the world. In addition to advancing bilateral relations, Special Representative Zafar focuses on promoting entrepreneurship and economic development; creating educational and training opportunities for young people; and supporting community efforts to build social cohesion, counter violent extremism, and share their own stories. Through his conversations in Islamabad, Special Representative Zafar witnessed firsthand how Pakistanis are tackling these same issues and challenges, and pursuing opportunities to create a more prosperous future for their nation.