U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Pakistani students and teachers who participated in educational programs funded by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development on December 10, 2015 at a town hall meeting hosted by the Chairman of the Pakistan Higher Education Commission, Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed.
During the event, Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed announced Pakistani plans to fund up to 125 additional scholarships for Pakistani Ph.D. students to study in the United States through the Fulbright Program over the next five years. Deputy Secretary Blinken and Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed reiterated the commitment to intensify cooperation in the education sphere made by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during their meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 22, 2015.
Both Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed and Deputy Secretary Blinken encouraged students and teachers to take full advantage of their educational opportunities and experiences to benefit their communities, especially to create more chances for women to pursue education.
“Investments in education are prerequisites for long-term security and sustainable development,” Deputy Secretary Blinken said. “By equipping students with a world perspective rooted in respect, social justice, diversity, and critical thinking, we can expand their horizons while allowing Pakistan’s economy to grow and its society to flourish.”
Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed thanked the United States for its collaboration on initiatives supporting the Pakistani education system at every level, from primary to post-graduate.
“Working together, we have given young women the opportunity to go to university, helped new teachers gain the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, and supported research in areas critical to Pakistan’s development,” Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed commented. “The United States has been a dedicated, long-term partner for the progress of the Pakistan Higher Education Commission, and I know our joint efforts will continue to support economic prosperity and stability here in Pakistan.”