US Ambassador Richard G.
Olson recently delivered a talk on “Afghanistan: Seizing the Opportunity” at
Jinnah Auditorium on November 12, 2014.
He spoke about the
post-2014 scenario when NATO would end its combat operations in Afghanistan. He
said that there were great opportunities for Pakistan, as there were democratic
governments in both the countries. The existing cooperation between the US and
Pakistan would further strengthen in the coming years. The ambassador also
answered the questions by the students, and assured them of continued
commitment of the US to support the socio-economic and educational development
Earlier, Rector NUST, Engr
Muhammad Asghar, highlighted the role and responsibilities of universities in
human development through the reduction of disparities, building of social
cohesion, application of knowledge, and creation of solutions for basic
services like education, health, water supply, sanitation and public
safety. He emphasized that knowledge
should be used to generate wealth and reduce poverty. In this regard, he highlighted the role of
USAID in the establishment of centres for advanced studies in water, food and
energy. The Centre for Advanced Studies
in Energy, established at NUST, would pioneer research in collaboration with
its partner universities in the USA. It would
undertake the training of specialized human resource, and about 250 MS and PhD
students of NUST would benefit from the program. He emphasized that innovative
application of knowledge and technology-based entrepreneurship was the best way
to get out of the financial crisis and find sustainable development solutions.
The Rector also spoke
about the growing interconnectivity and interdependence among people of
different nations, which posed serious transnational challenges. Universities could transform these challenges
into opportunities for the benefit of the people. He appreciated the US programs aimed at socio-economic
development, especially scholarships in the field of education, which could
help train human resources in critical domains.
He said that the strategic landscape was changing in the region,
especially in view of NATO concluding its combat operations in Afghanistan. A peaceful
Afghanistan was in the best interest of regional and world peace and he
expressed hope that the USA would create opportunities for peace and prosperity
in the region.