US Consul sees bright fu­ture for Pak­istan

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

US Consul Gen­eral to La­hore Zachary Harken­rider said on Sun­day that Pak­istan had a bright fu­ture ahead and all ef­forts of the US Mis­sion were ded­i­cated to­wards a sta­ble, peace­ful and pros­per­ous Pak­istan. "I am con­fi­dent that Pak­istan will find a path to se­cu­rity is­sues, achieve eco­nomic growth and pros­per­ity," he said in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the APP here. The Consul Gen­eral talked at length about the US co­op­er­a­tion on the en­ergy, eco­nomic, agri­cul­ture, education, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, health fronts be­sides sports and cul­tural ini­tia­tives of the US Con­sulate in La­hore to strengthen ties be­tween the two coun­tries with spe­cial fo­cus on the prov­ince of Pun­jab.

He said the Pun­jab govern­ment un­der Muham­mad She­hbaz Sharif was do­ing a splen­did job as it had achieved mar­velous suc­cess on the en­ergy, eco­nomic, education, in­fra­struc­ture fronts be­sides sports and cul­ture, adding the US con­sulate in La­hore and the USAID col­lab­o­rate with the Pun­jab govern­ment to pro­vide as­sis­tance in education, en­ergy and agri­cul­ture sec­tors. To a ques­tion, the US diplo­mat said the con­sulate had taken ini­tia­tives to en­hance the busi­ness ties be­tween the Pun­jab and the US, adding the US con­sulate had been work­ing ex­ten­sively busi­nesses through the cham­bers of Com­merce of In­dus­try and the busi­ness com­mu­nity to iden­tify op­por­tu­ni­ties for Pak­istani and Pun­jabi busi­nesses to work in the US, to part­ner with the US firms and to sell the Pak­istani prod­ucts in the US mar­kets and the US prod­ucts here.

He said, as a re­sult of th­ese ef­forts by the con­sulate, Pak­istani tex­tile prod­ucts had ac­cess to the US tex­tile mar­ket while the US prod­ucts had ac­cess to the mar­kets in Pun­jab, adding the US and the Pak­istani prod­ucts had ac­cess to mar­kets in both the coun­tries while the US brands have also in­creased over the re­cent years. He said the La­hore con­sulate also serves as a bridge to foster Pak-US diplo­matic re­la­tions and en­sures that Is­lam­abad and the Wash­ing­ton were kept abreast of the ground re­al­i­ties, adding that poli­cies are shaped and formed by the views of our in­ter­locu­tors at the pro­vin­cial level. About the US as­sis­tance in the en­ergy sec­tor, Harken­rider said the US in­vest­ments in the en­ergy sec­tor had in­creased a great ex­tent dur­ing the past 7 years and the US govern­ment had added 1700 MW elec­tric­ity to the na­tional grid and that is enough elec­tric­ity for 19 mil­lion peo­ple. He said the USAID had re­stored the ca­pac­ity of ther­mal power plants in Guddu, Jamshoro and Muzaf­far­garh and en­hanced the ca­pac­ity of ex­ist­ing hy­dro power fa­cil­i­ties.

He said 22,000 ca­pac­i­tors and elec­tronic me­ter read­ing me­ters have been in­stalled at the grid sta­tions, adding that un­sched­uled load-shed­ding had been re­duced by 94 per­cent due to in­stal­la­tion of elec­tronic con­trol rooms in ma­jor cities with the USAID as­sis­tance which saved 157 mil­lion dol­lars to the dis­tribut­ing com­pa­nies. Talk­ing about the ini­tia­tives in the education sec­tor, the CG Harken­rider said five new fac­ul­ties of education had been con­structed in Pun­jab in­clud­ing Pun­jab Univer­sity and Univer­sity of Education, La­hore, Is­lamia Univer­sity Ba­hawalpur, Ba­haud­din Za­kria Univer­sity Multan and Fa­tima Jin­nah Univer­sity Rawalpindi, adding that th­ese would serve as venues to train fu­ture teach­ers. He said that a large num­ber of schol­ar­ships had been of­fered to the stu­dents to study in the US while 3,000 Ful­bright schol­ar­ships were be­ing of­fered to Pak­istani stu­dents and schol­ars over the past 68 years. Harken­rider said the US govern­ment had also pro­vided as­sis­tance to Pun­jab in agri­cul­ture sec­tor and pro­vided train­ing and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to im­prove var­i­ous dairy de­vel­op­ment projects un­der which 22,000 farm­ers have been trained.

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