The US consul-general in Karachi, Michael Dodman, said on Saturday that “the vision of Jinnah is not only for Pakistanis but also for the American people”.
“We share a common respect for democracy and freedom as embodied by Mr Jinnah,” wrote Dodman in the visitors’ book at the mausoleum of Mohammed Ali Jinnah on Saturday morning.
The consul-general visited the mausoleum to pay homage to the father of the nation and laid a floral wreath. He was accompanied by cultural affairs officer Kristine Haworth and press officer Richard Silver.
Talking to the media, Dodman said that the US was providing civilian assistance to Pakistan, focused on energy, health, and education sectors, and that the assistance would continue.
He said the United States would also continue to provide assistance under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). “We provide this assistance because we support a strong and prosperous Pakistan. As far as our cultural exchanges are concerned, these will continue.”
Responding to a question whether assistance under the CSF was sufficient, Dodman said that for the US this was sufficient. “It is for our Pakistani counterparts to tell whether it is or not,” he said.
Answering another question, he said that he wanted to see closer economic ties between the US and Pakistan, business connections and more people-to-people ties. “I have always focused on economic cooperation, health and education in my career of 25 years and I will be working on these areas here in Karachi too.”
The US diplomat said that he would try to bring American visitors to Karachi and talk to leaders there. “I hope we can enhance cooperation between the USA and Pakistan.”
Dodman said he was greatly honoured to visit this beautiful facility and its gorgeous parks: “I am humbled to pay respects to Pakistan’s founding father.”
The US consul-general said that over the last two weeks, since he had arrived in Karachi, he was listening, learning, and talking to people, leaders, government officials and now the media. “I have to learn a lot about Pakistan, Karachi, Sindh, and Balochistan,” he said.