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Saturday May 25, 2024

Recreational visit to Gilgit-Baltistan: US envoy visits Attabad Lake, other places

By Farooq Aqdas
September 24, 2023

ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador in Pakistan Donald Blome is on a multi-day private visit to Gilgit-Baltistan since the beginning of this week. He is visiting various recreational places as well as ongoing projects of UNDP with the help of the local government.

According to reports, Donald Blome also met some local political figures and high officials. According to details of the announced engagements, the American ambassador visited the Attabad Lake after reaching Hunza and also went to the Karakoram International University. He was informed about educational and research activities, scholarships given to the university students under the USAID and other matters. A detailed briefing was given to the US ambassador on the future plans, including construction and development projects of the university. Deputy Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Sadia Danish and Member of Assembly Rani Sanam Faryad also met Donald Blome. On the occasion, a detailed discussion was held on matters of mutual interest, especially development and welfare of women.

The American ambassador expressed his interest in various fields in Gilgit-Baltistan. The deputy speaker apprised him of problems being faced by women in the area. She emphasised giving priority to students of Gilgit-Baltistan in award of scholarship and admissions to educational institutions in the USA.

The American ambassador also visited the Hunza royal palace, along with the American delegation. Former Chief Executive and Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan and former Member of Assembly Gilgit-Baltistan Rani Atiqa welcomed the American ambassador.

According to traditions of Hunza, he was presented with a traditional cap and a local robe.

He was also informed about the problems Hunza is facing and requested for help in energy, health, education, especially technical education, employment and other sectors. He was also requested to help initiate a student exchange programme with the American universities, educational grants for students of the Karakoram University Hunza Campus.

The American ambassador thanked the hosts for inviting him and his delegation to the royal palace, saying the relationship between Hunza and the United States would remain strong as ever. However, no press release was issued by the US Embassy regarding the Ambassador Donald Blome’s engagements in Gilgit-Baltistan. He had also visited Pakistan’s coastal city Gwadar on Sept 12, which remained a topic of discussion for many days.