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US Ambassador’s Talk on ‘Afghanistan- Seizing the Opportunity’

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 of Pakistan.

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.    

National University of Sciences and Technology H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan
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