Humphrey alumni making Pakistan, US and world a better place: Ambassador Blome

US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome speaking at the fifth annual Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Conference in Islamabad on May 10, 2024. — Supplied

ISLAMABAD: The United States Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome appreciated the scholars of the Hubert H Humphrey fellowship, saying that the alumni were making Pakistan, the US and the world “a better place”.

The US envoy said this in his address to the fifth annual Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Conference that was hosted at a hotel in Islamabad on Friday.

He thanked and heaped praise on all the Humphrey alumni for playing the role of a bridge between Pakistan and the United States, “deepening our mutual understanding and advancing the shared goals”.

“Each of you was chosen for this conference because you demonstrated a commitment to social responsibility — the theme of our conference. You are making your communities, Pakistan, the United States — and the world a better place,” Blome said.

He said that the Humphrey alumni, along with the other 44,000 Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN) members from dozens of other US exchange programmes, are making a “huge difference” with their contributions to address some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as climate change, prevention of social conflict, rights equality and promotion of public health.

The US ambassador recalled sharing the PUAN stage with Humphrey alumnus Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib, who is the founder of Akhuwat.

“Through his groundbreaking microfinance programmes, he [Dr Saqib] and his teams have supported more than 5.2 million Pakistanis living in poverty, increased access to education for children throughout the country, and established a socially responsible microfinance model that serves as an example to countries worldwide,” Blome said.

He also mentioned another Humphrey alumnus, and a “champion of human rights”, Ramesh Jaipal, praising him for escaping forced child labour and earning a Humphrey fellowship.

Blome also said that Jaipal studied law and human rights at American University in Washington, and was now leading the fight for equal rights for religious minorities, including by drafting the first Pakistani Hindu Marriage Bill in 2017.

Moreover, the US envoy said that he also recently met 2023 Distinguished Humphrey Alumnus Muhammad Atif.

Since his Humphrey fellowship, Atif has not only successfully advocated for the rights of persons with disabilities across Pakistan, but has become a global leader for that cause, Blome said.

“These are just a few of the remarkable Humphrey alumni stories. Each of you brings your own successes and your own stories to this conference and your communities,” he added.

He encouraged the alumni to learn from one another, celebrate one another’s accomplishments and continue to collaborate as a Humphrey and the PUAN community.

On the occasion, Blome thanked federal Secretary Mohyuddin Ahmad Wani, the US Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) and Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN) teams and others. 

Leave a Comment