Thursday June 08, 2023

Pakistan a valued partner: US diplomat

By Our Correspondent
May 27, 2023

LAHORE: US Consul General William K Makaneole visited Sahiwal, Pakpattan and Bahawalnagar districts from May 22-25. During the three-day tour, he met local government representatives and members of the business community to deepen the robust partnership between the United States and Pakistan.

Makaneole also visited the shrines of Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar, Tajuddin Chisti and the landmark Harappa Museum. “Pakistan has been and continues to be a valued partner to the United States. Our governments have partnered on a range of issues and our people-to-people ties remain strong,” Makaneole said.

While paying his respects at the shrines of famous Sufi saints, he added, “These shrines symbolize the diverse cultural, historical, and religious heritage of Punjab and Pakistan.”

Founded in 2001, the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) preserves historical and cultural treasures under threat from environmental pressure or lack of resources. In Pakistan, AFCP has invested more than $7.6 million in 32 cultural preservation projects.

The restored sites include Buddhist monasteries, Hindu monuments, Sufi shrines and relics of the Mughal Empire.

Consul General Makaneole also visited the Harappa Museum in Sahiwal, a noteworthy archaeological site. He appreciated local entrepreneurial efforts at Digital Dera in Pakpattan, and the Semen Production Unit and Flour Mills in Sahiwal. He emphasized that the United States was Pakistan’s largest bilateral export destination, noting that “In 2022, bilateral trade hit a record $9.9 billion, with Pakistani exports to the United States reaching $6.8 billion.”

In his meetings with the deputy commissioners for Pakpattan and Bahawalnagar and commissioner in Sahiwal, Makaneole thanked them for hosting the delegation in their districts and making the trip a success.

“The United States has a broad, deep, and long-term partnership with the people of Punjab province spanning the education, economic, health, legal sectors and beyond. The US Lahore Consulate looks forward to deepening and expanding these relationships over the coming years,” he added.