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Follow the path of Indian-Americans: US to Pakistani-Americans

Source: PTI
April 22, 2010 09:05 IST
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The Obama administration has asked Pakistani-Americans to emulate Indian-Americans in improving relations between Pakistan and the United Sttaes just like the latter are instrumental in taking Indo-US ties in recent years.

"The Pakistani diaspora in the US can play important role in improving US-Pak relations, just as the Indian diaspora in this country already plays a very affirmative role in terms of strengthening bonds between our two countries," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley told reporters.

He said this was all part of US' ongoing effort to try to help do a better job of explaining the importance of this relationship which benefits both the countries.

"But it obviously continues to be a challenge." Hillary Clinton, after becoming Secretary of State, has been instrumental in motivating Pakistani-Americans to come together and work towards building people to people bond between the two nations.

She led the role in the formation of the American Pakistan Foundation early this year. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Pakistani Prime Minister Moen Qureshi, were its co-chairs, he said.

"The goal of APF is to serve as a catalyst for social and economic progress from the smallest villages to the largest cities of Pakistan through strategic philanthropy and public-private partnerships," Powell and Qureshi had said in an op-ed in February this year.

"The Pakistani-American community has a great opportunity to develop this organisation, which will impact the lives of Pakistani people and strengthen the bonds of friendship between the Pakistani and American people," they wrote.

At the foundation's inaugural event in December in New York, Clinton said: "Pakistan is at a critical juncture, and we are here to show solidarity with the people of Pakistan."

"Whether we hail from the government or the private sector or academia, the not-for-profit sector, whether we have family ties in Pakistan or just wish that we did, we all have a stake in Pakistan's future," she said.

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