ISLAMABAD, August 2 (APP):More than 700 alumni of the Pakistan-US exchange programmes Thursday gathered here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN) wherein they recognized its contributions to their respective communities and strengthening the bilateral ties.
All alumni of US government programs including the politicians, scholars, journalists, business leaders, and students of Rawalpindi Islamabad Chapter of PUAN joined together at the event and shared their experiences, and renewed their commitment to strengthening ties between the United States and Pakistan.
Chargé d’Affaires at US Embassy in Islamabad John Hoover highlighted the significance of the event and noted that the most important thing in the Pakistani-US relationship was the people.
He said the “alumni such as yourselves will be the leaders of Pakistan’s future” to help build a more secure and prosperous Pakistan.
President of Islamabad Rawalpindi Chapter of PUAN Syed Ali Hameed encouraged participants to volunteer for the network’s philanthropic activities and to spread the knowledge they gained in the United States throughout Pakistan.
Over the past year, the capital’s PUAN chapter organized dozens of community service activities, with its members taking active roles in the fields of education, leadership development, counter-narcotics, and women empowerment. He said the PUAN had grown into a strong family with above 25,000 members and 13 chapters across the country.
Public Diplomacy Officer of the US Embassy Tom Montgomery said dealing with the PUAN was the best experience in his diplomatic service. He also urged the participants that the entrepreneurship was all about showing kindness and getting things done with little resources.
In his address, Tughral Turab Ali, a Kennedy Center alumnus guided his fellow alumni as how to leverage their destinies by right choices as the journey of hard choices always took one to the success.
In her keynote speech, Former PUAN Country President Sameena Imtiaz highlighted the historic perspective and journey of the network which had now become a strong and vibrant family.
The event also featured the distribution of Distinguished Alumni Awards, Young Emerging Leaders Awards and Honor Awards besides a cake cutting to mark the 10th anniversary.
The volunteers and members of the chapter’s executive board members were also given the certificates to recognize their services. A job fair was arranged at the venue where some companies and organizations had set up their booths with above 100 openings for the aspiring alumni.
The US government annually invests more than 4.8 billion rupees in exchange programs for Pakistani citizens to study in the United States.
Over 1,000 Pakistanis participate each year in high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional US-sponsored exchanges.
PUAN now has over 25,000 members. Since the alumni network began in 2008, the United States has provided more than 18,000 college scholarships for Pakistani students.