US-Pak ties warm up at Eid Milan Party

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Pakistan has more exchange programmes with the US than any other country in the world, US Lahore Consul General Carmela A Conroy said on Saturday. She was addressing an Eid Milan Party arranged in honour of the state alumni. A large number of alumni, who visited the US, attended the event.
A musical programme also enthralled the audience, who danced on the mystic music and songs of Sayeen Zahoor. Over 250 exchange programme alumni from across Punjab attended the gala, which was hosted by the US Consulate General Lahore. The celebration honoured thousands of Pakistani alumni, who have travelled across the US and participated in the exchange programmes sponsored by the US State Department. The Pak-US Alumni Network Punjab Chapter was a co-host of the party.
“Pakistani-American exchange dates back to the very moment of Pakistan’s birth, when the US first established a consulate in Lahore in 1947,” Conroy said welcoming the alumni to the event. She said that over the years, Lahore has been host to a number of prominent Americans, from jazz great Duke Ellington to President Nixon and Hillary Clinton as first lady, senator and most recently, as secretary of state. The consul general noted that the US exchange programmes brought Pakistanis to the US to share their experiences and also gain new knowledge to contribute to Pakistan.
“We are more alike than we are different,” the consul general said adding that these exchange programmes enthral all of us. She hoped that relations of both countries would strengthen in years to come. Guests included prominent Pakistani alum from the Fullbright Programme, the International Visitor Leadership Programme, the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, the Study of the United States Institute Program, Seeds of Peace and a number of other exchanges. The participants enjoyed the incredible performance of Goonga Mithu Sayeen on dhol and qawwali by Mian Miri Qawwal.
Besides the alumni, prominent personalities including actor Usman Peerzada, theatre icons Faizan Peerzada and Madeeha Gohar and Shahid Nadeem also attended the event. The alumni, talking to Pakistan Today, said that they learnt a lot during their visit to the US. They said that such programmes help both nations to come closer. The alumni said that exchange programmes would also help them in developing Pakistan stronger.
Punjab University (PU) Faculty of Education Dean Dr Hafiz Iqbal, who went on Fulbright, said visiting the US was a wonderful experience and he learnt many things during the visit. “I along with my family went to the US, where we stayed for one year,” he said adding that it provided him an opportunity to closely observe American society.
“They are very organized and loving people,” he added. Iqbal also appreciated the US Consulate for arranging such an event, which provided the alumni an opportunity for strengthening the network. Alum Syed Khurram Abbas Gilani said that he learnt a lot about the American society and observed many good things about them. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Muhammad Mehdi and former provincial minister Rana Ikram Rubbani also attended the event.