Washington : Pakistani-Americans from different walks of life and all over the United States converged in Washington on Saturday to attend the Pakistani-American Community and Youth Convention.
Hosted by the Embassy of Pakistan, the Convention brought together accomplished Pakistani-American entrepreneurs, academics, artists and public officials and office holders to share their ideas and experiences.
The Convention’s objective of synthesizing these different streams of accomplishment was captured in its theme: “Connecting the dots.”
Welcoming the participants to the Convention, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, lauded the role of the Pakistani-American community in bringing the two countries together by forging strong people-to-people relations. He hoped that young Pakistani-Americans would continue to enrich various facets of American society and life by excelling in their chosen fields of endeavour.
Ambassador Chaudhry stressed that an engaged and civic-minded expatriate community was key to enhancing mutual goodwill and understanding between Pakistan and the United States.
The daylong Convention was divided into panel discussions and presentations, which were punctuated by cultural and musical performances that showcased the diversity of Pakistan’s rich heritage.
The six panel discussions were focused on Youth Engagement; Role of Women; Voice in Academia and Think Tanks; Civic Engagement; Harmony Through Art and Literature; and Entrepreneurs. Each panel comprised Pakistani-Americans who had distinguished themselves in the subject area.
Ms. Martha Patterson from State Department representing the US Government, in her remarks said that Pakistan and the United States have been partners for over 70 years. She stated that building on and improving this historical long-standing partnership is critical to both our nations". She also mentioned that two-way trade reached $6.4 billion in 2017, an all-time high.
Officials from the U.S. State Department and USAID also made a presentation on the ongoing cooperation in various areas between Pakistan and the United States. Thanking the U.S. officials for their participation, Ambassador Chaudhry acknowledged the United States’ historic contribution towards the economic and social development of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Consuls General in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston were also present and participated in an interactive session on the provision of consular services to the Pakistani-American communities in their areas of jurisdiction.
Summing up the day’s formal proceedings, Ambassador Chaudhry said that an outcome document, to be issued after the event, will enumerate the key ideas discussed during the Convention. He stressed that the Embassy would continue to provide a platform for Pakistani-Americans to network and interact for articulation and attainment of common objectives.
The Convention concluded with the participants joining together in the spirited rendition of a national song.
Over 400 members of the Pakistani-American community from across the United States attended the event.