KARACHI, Aug 13 (APP): US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, during his three-day visit to Karachi, held meetings with ministers, government officials, and businessmen to further strengthen the robust economic partnership and bilateral trade between Pakistan and the United States.
During his stay in Karachi from August 10-12, Ambassador Blome met with the Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, the Chief Ministers of Balochistan and Sindh, the Administrator of Karachi, the Commander of Pakistan Navy Pakistan Fleet (COMPAK), government officials, financial and business leaders, trade and energy executives, and other business and commercial representatives.
“I am glad to be back in Karachi, a financial and commercial hub with tremendous energy,” said Ambassador Blome. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of US-Pakistan bilateral relations and I look forward to strengthening US-Pakistan partnerships in trade, investment, clean energy, health, security, education, and other mutually beneficial priority areas.”
The ambassador visited Port Qasim and met with Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Faisal Subzwari. Donald Blome expressed interest in how the US can work with Pakistan to develop more linkages with American port and maritime institutions.
In the Ambassador’s meetings with Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, he discussed political, economic, and security matters, as well as the ongoing relief efforts to address the tragic impact of the recent floods in both provinces.
Ambassador Blome announced, during his meeting with the Chief Minister Sindh, that United States would provide an additional grant of $1 million to build the resilience of agricultural communities in Sindh, and support Pakistan’s disaster management authorities in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan to better respond to future disasters.
The US envoy and Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab discussed the impact of flooding and other challenges in the city, as well as opportunities for growth including in the information technology sector.
During his meeting with COMPAK Vice Admiral Ovais Bilgrami, Donald Blome further discussed relief efforts in flood-stricken areas and affirmed the importance of the US-Pakistan military relationship and the desire to strengthen and expand our ongoing security cooperation.
The ambassador met with CEO of Cargill Pakistan Imran Nasrullah. He also toured Excelerate’s floating storage and regasification unit at Port Qasim to emphasize mutual interests of both sides in seeing Engro and Excelerate’s LNG joint venture succeed in Pakistan. He met other US and Pakistani business leaders to show his commitment to promoting the US business and investment in Pakistan through a wide range of effective services, products, and programs.
One of the highlights of Ambassador Blome’s time in Karachi was a visit to the Lincoln Corner Karachi at Liaquat Memorial Library where he inaugurated the StartUp Lab! along with Minister of Sindh for Education, Culture, Tourism, Antiquities and Archives Syed Sardar Ali Shah.
“The StartUp Lab! is unique and a one-of-a-kind space in Pakistan where aspiring entrepreneurs with an idea for a startup business can turn ideas into reality using the latest technology and equipment for free,” noted Ambassador Blome.
“The people-to-people ties between the US and Pakistan are among our greatest strengths. We are proud to partner with the Culture Department of Sindh to ensure young Pakistanis are prepared to face 21st century challenges,” the ambassador said.
It may be added here that the Lincoln Corner Karachi is one of 18 in the US Mission to Pakistan’s network of American Spaces nationwide that offer free educational and cultural programs as well as technology and information resources to young Pakistani leaders.
Ambassador Blome also visited Frere Hall in Karachi to appreciate its architecture and murals. There, he was given a tour by representatives of NGO Sindh Exploration and Adventure Society (SEAS), Dr. Asma Ibrahim, and Dr. Kaleemullah Lashari.
The SEAS received in 2021 a grant from the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) to renovate portions of Frere Hall, he said, adding that this AFCP project further demonstrated our respect for Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage.
In connection with National Minority Day, the ambassador also met religious minority community leaders in Karachi to promote interfaith cooperation, religious tolerance, and diversity.
He also visited the Mausoleum of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and laid a floral wreath. “It is a great honor to be here at the Mazar-e-Quaid to pay my respects and commemorate the legacy of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The United States shares Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of a unified Pakistan, at peace with itself and its neighbors, a Pakistan of religious tolerance, economic prosperity, and social inclusion,” said Ambassador Blome.