Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan on Sunday lauded the launch of two programmes to help students and professionals access quality education and professional training in the United States.
The landmark programmes — Tahira Khatoon Educational Programme and the Nagy Loan Programme for Physicians — have been launched under the US SHAPE initiative aimed at further advancing the cause of social justice, healthcare access, advocacy, poverty alleviation, and education, as the acronym denotes.
Terming Pakistani American physicians as “bridge builders” between Pakistan and the US, Khan called the initiative instrumental in providing Pakistani students with better educational opportunities and cementing educational linkages and exchanges between both countries.
“The US State Department has remained a steadfast partner in our efforts to strengthen Pak-US educational linkages and connect our students with US academic institutes,” the ambassador added.
Underscoring the need to expand the number of Pakistani students in the US, he also called for setting a short-term goal of doubling the figure to 16,000 across various fields.
Khan especially underlined the need for creating greater opportunities for Pakistani engineers, IT professionals, managers and entrepreneurs who wanted to benefit from the prowess of US institutes in their respective disciplines.
‘17% rise in Pakistani students studying in US this year’
Rao Kamran, Chairman of US SHAPE, elaborated on the history and success of the Nagy Loan Programme. Initiated in 2015 under the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), this interest-free loan programme has been a lifeline for underprivileged physicians aspiring to achieve their USMLE dreams.
Over 30 physicians have successfully completed residency and fellowship training, repaying every cent of their loans during the first year of training.
The Nagy Loan Programme received significant financial contributions, including a $100,000 donation from Dr Nafees Nagy and a $50,000 donation from Dr Rao Kamran Ali.
Nate Lynn, representing the State Department, acknowledged the importance of educational exchange and highlighted a 17% rise in Pakistani students studying in the US from the previous year, moving Pakistan to the 18th spot on the global list. He welcomed the US SHAPE initiative and pledged to facilitate the student visa process.
It was informed that US SHAPE has expanded its portfolio to include support for engineers and IT experts.
Envoy Masood Khan appreciated the comprehensive vision encapsulated in the SHAPE acronym and paid tribute to Syed Javaid Anwar for his business acumen and philanthropic activities. He assured the Pakistani community of continuous support from the Embassy and Consulates.
Syed Javaid Anwar shared his personal journey, emphasising the transformative power of support and opportunity. Reflecting on his journey from Pakistan to the US, he inspired attendees with his message of shared blessings and generosity. His mantra, “If you are blessed, let’s share it,” served as a rallying cry for paving the way for future generations.
The envoy congratulated the entire team of US SHAPE for their efforts to transform the vision into reality.