U.S. Consul General Brian Heath visited the Umerkot Press club to meet journalists. While there, he reinforced U.S. support for freedom of the press and professional standards of journalism in Pakistan.
“While the journalist community in Umerkot is small, it has played an important role in covering events in lower Sindh,” said Mr. Heath. “I know that journalism in Pakistan can be a demanding, dangerous profession and my team and I applaud your hard work and efforts.”
Mr. Heath said the U.S. Consulate General Karachi has many programs to support Pakistani journalists and cited U.S. State Department funding and support for the Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi. The CEJ offers training and support for professional journalists across Pakistan. Mr. Heath also noted that the U.S. government has sent many Pakistani journalists to the U.S. for training and exchanges as part of its International Visitor Leadership Program, including most recently, reporters from VSH and KTN.
The United States, he said, is investing in numerous communities throughout Sindh. The U.S. Consul General also inspected U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) projects to rehabilitate schools and improve child and maternal health. “I’m proud of the work we are doing here in lower Sindh. We are doing much to improve the health and education of young people in the province.”
Earlier that day, the U.S. Consul General and his delegation toured historic Umerkot Fort. “Sindh has a rich and fascinating history,” he said, while explaining that the U.S. government is helping preserve the Makli Hills necropolis in Thatta, Sindh.” Later, he joined a Deewali event organized by Hindu students and met Thari musicians, including Mai Dhai, who recently returned from a music festival in Austin, Texas.